My uncle was a black belt in judo and one of the senior members of his judo club. He trained numerous champions and was well-respected in the international world of judo. He often regaled me with tales of past matches and colorful personalities of some of the great masters. But one story he never shared with me was one of actual combat. One day I innocently asked him, “Did you ever have to fight?”
He smiled at me and shook his head, “No. Never.”
Nonplussed, I persisted. “Do ever wonder if you would be able to successfully defend yourself if you were in a hostile situation?”
He laughed. “I hope I can. But I will never know until that happens!”
I also laughed a nervous laugh, as I reflected upon the truth of his statement. If I had all those years of martial arts training, would I be ready to successfully use it in a dire situation or would I freeze and forget all my training?
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NKJV)
My spiritual walk with God is no different. I can spend countless hours reading the Bible and memorizing God’s Word. I can spend time in prayer. But when I am faced with temptations, I know I have frozen and succumbed to the temptation, leading to sin. I need to claim and cling to God’s promise that no temptation has power over me because He always provides the way of escape. My “training” is needed but what is more important, is my faith in God. It is not by my efforts that I resist temptation, but by calling upon God in faith to strengthen and protect me.
Every moment of the day is a spiritual fight with Satan. God is faithful to see me to victory, even when I am not.
Will I ever have to fight? Every moment of my life.
Thanks be to the living God for the assured victory He has promised all believers!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.