Not Just Enduring, But Standing

This is a post from the archives that I needed to be reminded of again. Hope it blesses you, too.


I can be a pretty weak-willed woman. If I set my mind to something, I can visualize myself doing it with success — saying no to things I shouldn’t eat; refusing to say the thing that’s rising in my throat; running all the miles in my training program. But typically something happens between the vision and the action that derails me. It erupts out of nowhere like a volcanic chocolate lava cake. It dances on my tongue like Tic-Tacs. It makes running 6 miles feel like I’m trudging through a swamp.

It’s called temptation.

The initial resistance to temptation is strong. After all, I’ve decided what it is I’m going to accomplish, therefore my will is able to say no. But after any length of time, the doubt, desire and destruction arise and it’s just. so. hard.

I’ve always tried to remember the verse in 1 Corinthians as a sword to wield during these times. You know the one,

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (10:13)

I say it, I think it, I meditate on it…but again, there’s a disconnect between my head and my actions.

Please don’t think I’m a heretic; I believe every scripture is God-inspired and God-breathed. But being the writer-creative-type that I am, I think the disconnect for me is in the literal wording of this verse. In my mind, it sounds passive. The phrase, “so that you can endure it” doesn’t illustrate to me the armor-of-God bearing, authority-taking power of Christ that He died to give us.

So naturally when I’m faced with a plate of brownies or the impulse to talk sharply to my kids, the idea of simply enduring the temptation or bearing the temptation doesn’t make me feel victorious. And it doesn’t make me want to resist it, if I have to be honest. And even if I have resisted, I still feel weak afterwards.

  • Jesus said He gives us authority to trample on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).
  • He gave the disciples the authority to drive out demons (Mark 3:15) and cure diseases (Luke 9:1)
  • He said that whoever believes in Him will do the works He has been doing and will do even greater things than those (John 14:12).

So we can overcome the enemy, trample on snakes and do greater things than Jesus…yet simply endure temptation and try to bear it?

I’m sorry, but I just don’t think so.

This verse has come up again and again recently, and I just so happened to come across a translation that changed everything for me. It’s from the New International Reader’s Version:

“You are not tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Now that, my friends, is something I can latch on to.

I know the pure nature of temptation is that it’s hard; I’m not try to figure out a loophole to not being tempted, or to minimize how hard it is to withstand temptation. Believe me, I get how hard it is. A plate of my Aunt’s famous brownies later, I still get it.

But what I am saying is that I need some hope when it comes to temptation. That even though it took everything in me to resist, I wasn’t left a whimpering heap twitching on the floor afterwards. I want to resist it, feel the spiritual and physical benefits of resisting, and feel like Christ and I just did something together that was pretty spectacular.

That it was something I only could have done with His help and through His strength.

I want to do a dance and then bump some holy fists afterwards.

So when I read the version that says God will give a way out so that I can stand up under it…well, it fuels my desire to kick temptation in the backside. It makes me want to fight, not stand there and take the hits and proclaim afterwards, “At least I didn’t die!”

It paints a picture in my mind that shows me on my feet with my shoes of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, my sword out and swinging and my belt of truth secure around my waist reminding me that “you, Lord are a shield around me, you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.” (Psalm 3:3)


Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

What about you? What helps you when you’re faced with temptation? 


Unfighting (Thanksday #77)

It’s been days and days of crazy and confusion and chaos and I’ve felt as though the roaring lion is pacing back and forth and back and forth around my camp. And the fence is high and there’s fire on the fence that’s keeping him out, but he’s still there just looking and seeking any way possible to get in and attack. And I’ve been praying and reading and praying and fighting and some moments I think we’ve turned the corner and peace is restored and then suddenly my head is whipped around again and I’m stunned speechless once more.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve walked through this kind of attack and back then I failed miserably and opened the gate and the lion came right on in and sat for tea. And I discussed with him rationally how I wasn’t going to participate and he politely agreed but was secretly plotting subterfuge and the next thing I know I was taken hostage. Kidnapped into months misery that almost crushed me.

I didn’t know then that I should fight or how to fight or how to keep the gate locked and barricaded. And I didn’t know it was because the lion was desperate to keep me from the life-changing blessing waiting around the corner. I didn’t know he would do everything he could to take it away from me. But by His grace, God kept it secure and safe until I came through the fire smelling of smoke and covered in soot and singed, but alive.

Because of the intensity of it again this time, I’m fighting harder and praying harder and locking the gate and barricading the fence. But at the same time I’m resting in the Lord and only He knows how fighting and resting work hand-in-hand in situations such as these, but they do.

Because the battle is His (1 Samuel 17:47). My strength only comes from His strength (Ephesians 6:10). If I ask for wisdom on how to pray, He will give it to me. (James 1:5). No weapon formed against me will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). And God will work all things for His glory, even this (Romans 8:28).

David knew this delicate balance of fight and rest and seek and learn and said it so succinctly in Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Having God lead me to that rock and me climbing that rock and getting to the top of the rock allows me to see the situation with clarity and perspective that is impossible to see from the center of the fenced in camp. And on the top of the rock is where there is peace in battling and rest in fighting and all the other anomalies that come from walking this walk called Christianity.

Because He is the Rock. And while the devil prowls around like a lion, Jesus is the lion. Another anomaly.

So I sit at the top of the rock with my face toward the sun and the breeze blows through my hair and it whispers to rest in Him. And I am at rest. And I realize that resting is the best offensive battle I could ever, ever do. For when I walk through the valley He is with me so I do not need fear evil. And for this, I am most thankful.

What are you thankful for this week?