Thursday, May 30, 2013

Army Cadence

Way back, maybe 12 years ago (which was approximately 1/3 of my life ago-so don't knock the "way back")  I learned 1 Corinthians 10:13 to the army cadence. And it has stuck. It is the only way I remember it, and the only way I teach it.

You do know what the army cadence is, right? Sound off! 1-2! Sound off! 3-4! (repeat every line, in your best booming drill sergeant voice)

No temptation has seized you,
Except what is common to man.
But God is faithful,
He will not let you be tempted.
What you,
Can bear!

But when you are tempted,
He will also provide a way out,
So that
You can
Stand up under it!

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

This verse has four key truths that are tremendously encouraging.

1. Common. No temptation has seized you, except what is common to man.
We all get common. It's an understandable term. The temptations you face are the same ones someone else faces. We are all in this together. As a matter of fact, the RC church has a list of 7 deadly sins: wrath, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, pride and lust. You may not struggle with all of these, but I'd bet you struggle with some of them. I know I do. I think there is strength and encouragement in knowing that other people are struggling with the same issues.

That word seized is colorful and descriptive, isn't it. My mental picture is when one of my kids jumps out of somewhere, grabs ahold of and scares their sibling. It is the idea of a startling hold, but temporary hold.

2. Faithful. But God is faithful. He...
God doesn't change and He keeps His promises. He is true to His character. He is always holy. He is always omnipotent. He is aways Light. He is always with us. (Hebrews 13:5) He will not tempt us with evil. (James 1:13) These are promises God keeps.

3. Bearable. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. 
This promise means that God will not allow any temptation in my life that He is not fully confident I can withstand-with His help. He is not going to put me in a situation that I HAVE to sin. Ever. I can resist the anger. I can resist the gluttony. I can resist the pride. Not in my own strength necessarily, but in His strength.

And notice the word when. It isn't if. We will be tempted.

4. Escape. He will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under it.
We need to resist or we need to run. Either is a viable action. Actually, some temptation calls for standing up under it. But, sometimes the wisest course is to get out of Dodge. Run. Get away from the cookies. Get away from the explosive situation. Get away from the impurity. Run!

These four truths are key to resisting temptation and living a victorious Christian life. I know that I need to remember them in regards to over eating. In regards to sleeping when I should be up. In regards to being patient and not flipping out over ridiculous things. In regards to giving the glory to God, and not myself. These are the common temptations I struggle with.

I am very thankful that with God's truth comes encouragement. He doesn't lay the truths on us hard and leave us to wallow. He gives strength and help.

How about you? What situation in your life do you need to apply 1 Corinthians 10:13? Have you ever memorized 1 Corinthians 10:13? How about giving this cadence a try?