Wednesday, January 21, 2015
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Our local high school football team back East had a history of championships. And the guys worked very hard to get a starting position. Spending time in the weight room, one of the things they had to do. Two of our sons played for that team, and I'll tell you, they knew they had to be in that weight room a lot. For one thing, the coach sees you there, he knows you're working hard, and that's what coaches like. Now, you've also got your spotters there. These are the guys who stand by you while you're lifting to help lift that bar off of you just in case you get in trouble because you lifted more than you can handle.
That's what Chris was missing that day. See, Chris had a weight bench in his basement. And he didn't have anyone around, but he wanted to do his lifting. He was trying to increase the amount that he could bench press all alone. Now it's not smart to be pushing it when there's nobody there to help, and he lost it and all of that weight came down on top of him. So here is Chris, struggling. Finally, he was able to roll it off of him, and naturally he was pretty lucky because he escaped with just a few bruises. But some guys have gotten badly hurt that way. See, if you're not careful, you could end up trapped under what you thought you could lift.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'I Can Handle It' Trap."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Corinthians 10:11-12. Here's what it says, "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall." Verse 13, "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."
Now, if there's a message in those verses, it's this: Don't underestimate temptation and don't over-estimate your strength. Our friend who was weight lifting, he got trapped, and he was almost crushed because of a very common miscalculation. "Hey, I can handle it!" When it comes to temptation, the Devil loves it when you think like that. The words "I can handle this" usually come right before the Devil pins you good.
Maybe you've already been crushed or trapped by some sin or some weakness, and you've carried the guilt and the shame and the weight; that sense of defeat, sooner or later you also face the consequences. And worst of all, you can't seem to stop it. It's like you're a prisoner. Right now, maybe you're flirting with a compromise. You're playing with some wrong thinking. And you're saying, "Hey, you know what? I can handle it." Perhaps you're involved with some physical intimacy and you say, "oh it's okay. I can control this."
You know how many people have lost what they always intended to keep with that kind of thinking? Maybe you're flirting, literally flirting with someone and thinking, even as a married person, "I'm just playing around. I can handle this." Really? Maybe there are some compromises you're making with the truth. You may think you're deceiving others but it's deceiving you. You say, "Well I can stop this any time." You're hanging around the edges of sin. You're saying, "Just a little." You don't ever expect to end up trapped, or pinned, or hurt.
Neither did Chris, the weight lifter. And he lost. That's why 1 Corinthians 10:12 says, "If you think you're standing firm, be careful you don't fall." That arrogance can kill you. 2 Timothy 2:22 says, "Flee sinful desires." It doesn't say resist them. It says avoid them. The Devil never tells you where he's going to take you until it's too late.
So what's the strategy here? Admit that you can't handle it. Give that temptation battle to Jesus. And choose your exit before you get to the temptation. God promised there would be a way of escape. But you have to choose your exit before you get anywhere close to it. Be careful of underestimating the power of sin to trap you. Don't be a victim of the "I can handle it" trap. You can't handle it. And the Lord is coming into your weight room right now to warn you not to try it.
Listen to His warning and avoid the pain of ending up trapped under what you thought you could handle.