No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13
It takes about five to ten days for a Venus flytrap to dissolve an insect, entirely depending upon the bug’s size. When an unsuspecting insect pursues the attractive smell of the plant and then crawls onto it, the leaves quickly close, trapping it. Within a few seconds, the digestive nectars of the plant begin to consume and dissolve the bug.
In a way, the Venus flytrap is very much like the various temptations we sometimes face in this life, especially those that cause us to fall again and again. However, there is no reason for this to keep happening from God’s perspective, because He said that He would not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to understand. Yet, God can’t do His protective work unless we partner with Him and do what He lays on our hearts to do.
One strategy is to separate ourselves as far as we can from an old temptation. In other words, don’t go near it, or let it linger in our minds and hearts. This may take some discipline, but if we ask for God’s help, He will help; He always does. Sometimes God sends others to help with our discipline. Being accountable to another for what we do puts a good kind of pressure on us from His perspective. Although this human accountability will not entirely free us from an old or chronic temptation, it can move us closer to God, who can thwart and rescue us from any temptation. The closer we get to God, the farther away we get from a particular temptation.
A second strategy when dealing with temptations is to look for an escape route before it completely sucks us into its lethal nectar again. The Scripture says there are escape routes God provides with every temptation. Our job is to look for them and take those routes as quickly as possible. We need to be like the surviving bugs that flew away from the Venus flytrap when its sweet nectar was put forth. This may take some serious dedication. So, we need to practice an escape route God has placed on our hearts to take. This practice should be done long before the temptation arrives again. We can best discover these escape routes through prayer, reading applicable Scriptures, and gathering advice from other Christians who have been similarly tempted.
A third strategy is to take a victory lap every time we win out over a temptation. God indeed celebrates; He loves it when we win. In the application of this, I log every victory over temptation in my daily journal. This really helps later on, especially when struggling with a new one that has arrived. I sometimes will read and reread these journaled victories for extra motivation not to give in or give up the fight.
There will be losses when striving against temptation, as you well know. However, unlike the bugs that fall into the Venus Trap and perished, you will never perish. For God will never leave nor forsake you no matter what, even when falling again into the same temptation. He will simply reach down and pull you out of temptation’s poisonous grasp, clean you up with His forgiveness, and start you off again. Perhaps a little shaken and scarred, but able to fly.
Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the temptations of the evil one.
II Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Note: This article was taken from my book, Always There to Repair, which can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, or by contacting me at email@example.com.