Monday, October 21, 2019

Resisting the Pull - Martin Wiles

But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God says.” 2 Chronicles 18:13 NLT

The pull was ferocious, but one team finally jerked the other across the line.

Annual field day holds a favorite place in the life of middle schoolers—especially when one of the assistant coaches plans the events. And the event they like second best—behind dodge ball—is tug of war. Students are evenly divided between weight and strength and placed on either side of the halfway length of the rope, which has knots tied in it every so many feet. Knots make for good grabbing spots.

Sometimes the teams appear evenly matched and much pulling takes place before one team finally pulls the other over the winning mark. At other times, one team jerks the other across the winning line with little effort. Regardless of the teams, resisting and pulling are part of the game.

Jehoshaphat was pulled too. By King Ahab. His adversary. For some reason, though, Jehoshaphat joined forces with a wicked king to fight the forces of Ramoth-gilead. Four hundred North Israel false prophets told Ahab he’d win the battle. Jehoshaphat wasn’t convinced. He called the one prophet of God who remained and asked his opinion. Sure enough, his words differed. The two kings would experience defeat.

Our pull is inner and outer. Jehoshaphat gave into the outer pull from King Ahab, but something on his inside pulled him to associate with wickedness. The Bible calls it a sinful nature. The bent we have that leads us to do things we don’t want to … things that lead us to rebel against God. Satan places outwards pulls in our path, yet the inward pull makes it hard to reject them.

As Jehoshaphat discovered, the crowd isn’t always right. Four hundred prophets predicted victory while only one said defeat loomed ahead. The crowd pulls. We call it peer pressure, and it doesn’t cease when we leave middle or high school but continues throughout life.

Whether the pull is inner, outer, or both, God gives us the power to resist. He promises He’ll never let the temptation become so severe that we can’t walk away. It may seem overwhelming, but God consistently provides an open door of escape. Our part entails asking Him for courage and wisdom. When we lean on Him, we’ll never be disappointed.

The pull of your temptation may appear beyond your ability to resist, but in God’s strength you can walk away.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the power You give that enables us to resist the pull of sin.

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