In Harm's Way: Fearless Victory Series, Part 10


While on a recent trip to New Zealand, my wife and I encountered an unusual specie of birds. It wasn't their appearance that attracted us to them, rather, their kamikaze tactics. While we were driving full-speed down the road, they would fly to that road surface, just in front of us, and touch down. Then, at the very moment that we could very easily crush them with our wheels, they would run, full-speed, to the side of the road. They seemed to come out of nowhere, and they were so fast that there was absolutely no time to even lift the foot from the accelerator. And each time we passed one of these successful kamikazes, they would look up at us with those beady eyes, and you would swear they were snickering!

It's a game for these birds!

The locals had warned us about them, calling them Common Mynas. Amazingly we never ever did find one of their dead bodies on the side of the road, but this kind of Russian roulette made us quite nervous while driving! How would you like to have a suicidal Common Myna dive-bomb in front of your car?

Too often we, too, play a similar kamikaze game. Oh, our game looks different, often even innocent, but we play it nonetheless every time we put ourselves in the position where we could easily fall back into one of our favourite pet sins. Our reasoning? "Come on! It won't hurt!" , "I'm over this!" Or "I want to see if I have really overcome this!" It's faulty reasoning at best, and when in the presence of our favourite temptation, it becomes very difficult to say "no"!

For some this may be the kitchen, for others the pub, and for still others, it may be the Internet. The list is actually endless. An alcoholic, even though sober for more than ten years, can easily fall into the lures of the strong brown liquid if he or she frequents a bar. Even if his or her primary goal is to socialize! The food addict will succumb to the delicious-looking cheese cake if it constantly stares up at him. Images from the wild side will invade the soul of those who have dwelled in the territory called lust when they surf the Net.

Unlike these Mynas of New Zealand, we are often hit, and this surprises us! And what's even more frightening is that we never learn from our mistakes! We are mysteriously drawn into the same temptations over and over again!

Admiring our pet sin will never lead us to victory. Nor will visiting areas where we will be tempted to worship it. Instead, like Joseph, we should be running away from it! He, too, was confronted by irresistible temptations. The luscious wife of his master had him in her grasp and her intentions were quite clear. How many wouldn't fall into such a trap, ignoring the possible horrible consequences?

But not Joseph! Although an ordinary man, he did what any man should be doing, he ran away, leaving the temptress surprised and outraged. The only thing she got out of him was his coat: "One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, 'Come to bed with me!' But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house." (Gen 39:11-12 NIV)

Instead of walking on forbidden, tempting territory, why not walk where the consequences will not haunt us from the rest of our lives? A walk in nature is much more invigorating than facing what we have done wrong. Reading a good book is more rewarding than being controlled by unshakable obsessions from our pet sins. Spending quality time with our spouse and our beloved children is more fulfilling than wandering in the snares of the evil one.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." (1 Cor 10:13 NIV)

Instead of listening to these little tempting insinuations, we can be superheroes by dwelling in the presence of the Lover of our soul. He is the only One who can give us a way out of these obsessions!

"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 stand up under it." (1 Cor 10:13 NIV)

Kamikaze attempts may be fun for these Mynas, but they are deadly when we, humans, fall into them!

Rob Chaffart

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