December 1, 2019
Why be a guest in Egypt when you can be a family member in the Promised Land? Abraham will not be himself in Egypt. He will compromise his integrity. He will be driven to this foreign land because of food shortages in Canaan. Yet, he will digest more into his spirit at this moment than just physical sustenance. His honesty will be disconnected like a river being redirected from a thirsty village, and he will have his reputation drained of integrity, the rivers of truth drying up, a test failed in a grand way. Abraham is the father of faith but at this moment he is the citizen of fear. Often on our home turf of singers and preachers we boast goodness and integrity, but it’s when we wander into unknown, unfamiliar, hostile territory that we find out the authenticity of our acclaimed faithfulness. We can only really boast truth when we’ve resisted the most irresistible treachery. We can act as if our spiritual immune system is up to date with prayer and fasting and a healthy dose of Bible Reading, but until the viruses of sin test us, until the diseases of darkness encroach our safe environs, until temptation threatens to infect us with virulent rebellion and lust laden error, we don’t really know the extent of our immunity.
Think about when Peter boldly announced he would be willing to die with Christ. He was so sure of himself. The impetuous nature just knew he would face any challenge, meet any foe, stand up to any ruler or power or warrior for Christ. And yet, within a few days he was wilting away from the challenge, scared, and profanely denying that he even knew Christ. Just because you can boast doesn’t necessarily mean you have the bravery to match.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
- The Amplified Bible says, “Therefore let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation].” This is like having a flu shot thinking you are immune to the Ebola virus. Maybe you would never tell a lie, but what about envy you have for someone else’s possessions? Maybe you pay your tithes faithfully, but what about your brother’s needs you ignore? We cannot become religiously arrogant in our elementary good grades against temptation when harder tests may wait for us from expert devils of destruction.
The word “think” here implies “reputation.” So, we can have a stellar reputation, clean and honest. But take heed. Be careful. Don’t boast. Avoid careless assumptions. Keep your guard up. A reputation can be lost in one moment…listen now