Friday, August 08, 2008

Temptation in the Elevator

I still remember the story that one of the Vice Presidents of Liberty University told while I was a student there. He was a huge sports fan and was given a ticket to the Super Bowl. Now if you are a major football fan, you realize how amazing it would be to be able to attend the biggest game of the year live and in person. The only problem was that he was only given one ticket so to attend, he would have to go by himself. For that reason he was going to turn down the gracious offer but his wife convinced him that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so he packed his bags and headed out.

He said that attending the Super Bowl game itself was amazing but he also was quick to point out that outside the game, the environment around the festivities was very immoral. The game got over with late and he headed back to the hotel. When he arrived he went to get on the elevator. Just as the elevator doors closed a very attractive woman slipped on to the elevator with him. They were alone as the elevator started moving. The women, who was intoxicated, quickly made a direct advance at this man and an fer for him to spend the night in her room. Now try to understand the situation. He was far away from home. No one else was around. The woman was drunk and beautiful. And in all likelihood, he could choose indulge and no one would ever discover that it happened.

In the moments between floors, he had to make an instant decision…one that he had not planned in advance on having to make. In the end, he told us that there was one thought that went through his mind that allowed him to say no to the attractive offer and move on to his room by himself. Now what was that thought? Was it his wife of many years? No! Was it his precious children? No! Was it his ministry at Liberty University? Not at all. He said that the one thing that went through his mind that allowed him to resist this offer was a verse of Scripture that he had memorized just that morning.

David was right when he said that he had hidden God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin against God. Jesus’ example of resisting temptation in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 really works. So what are you and I waiting for? That’s why this month as we work though our “Just Say No” series on temptation here at Grace Church we are encouraging everyone to take this month to memorize this one verse of Scripture:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Folks, listen, if you haven’t started to memorize this verse yet, you are living very dangerously. In fact, if you are going to make the conscious decision not to participate in this church-wide memorization project than you just might want to avoid elevators (or anywhere and everywhere else where temptation can rear its ugly head) for the rest of your life. Work on this verse this week! You’ll be glad you did!

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