Week 33, Day 1
August 15, 2022
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12–13)
There is a popular video floating around of me wiping out several times on a surfboard. For all who know me, it is their favorite video of me. More so than the adorable videos of my kids, it is my continued wiping out that brings people great delight. It is hilariously bad. I fall, several times.
I remember the event portrayed on the video like it was yesterday. I go out on the surfboard, holding the hands of the helper. I feel like I have a sense of balance and I tell the helper that “I’m good, I got this.” Within seconds of his letting me go on my own, I wipe out. I get back up, feel like I’m able to navigate the torrent, and well, I fall again. And again. It’s hysterical. Bad for my ego, fun for everyone else.
I see it as a fitting illustration of my walk with Christ. I think I have my feet under me, and sure enough I stumble and fall. “I’ve got this” becomes, “I don’t got this” in a matter of seconds. I get back upright, feel like I have my feet under me, and I fall again. I do it again and again.
This is the story of Israel that Paul outlines. The people of God come out of Egypt only to worship idols, indulge in sexual immorality, and test the Lord. They grumble against God, complain of where he has led them, reject God, and turn their hearts from him.
Paul’s encouragement to the church to avoid such a failure is “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall!”
I’ve lost track of the times where I felt like I made progress in my spiritual journey, only to stumble again. I suppose I’m in great company with this. I’ll butcher the story, but there’s a story of a person who kept going to God, asking forgiveness for getting into the tangled web of sin. Every time, “God, I’m sorry, I’ve gotten into the web of sin again.” Over and over, going to God, asking for forgiveness.
Eventually, the person prayed, “God, kill the spider.”
Paul’s encouragement here is to not think we have it all figured out and avoid our dependency on God. When we stand on shaky ground, we are much more apt and focused on keeping our balance. It’s the pride of life that leads to the greatest falls.
May we know that we are on shaky ground. We so desperately need God and relationship with him.
Don’t fall into the trap that always leads to our failure. The ground beneath us is shaking, hold on to Jesus. He will see you through. The torrent of sin will sweep us away. Anchor our lives in Jesus Christ. Stand firm with him.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.