I used to go tubing down the Salt River when I was a teenager. It was always a great way to spend a day: sitting in an inner tube, talking with friends as well as strangers. The river seemed peaceful on the surface, the sounds soothing, and the desert seemed to slowly drift past.
That is, until I got out of my tube and tried standing my ground. Instantly the power of the water was known to me. It was no longer peaceful; the water was turbulent and loud. I staggered. It was exhausting just trying to stand still.
Sin is like this. If you give into it, it will give back pleasant times taking you where it will. A river of no return, so to speak. You will never know its power until you resist it. You will not know your own strength either.
If you resist long enough and hard enough, you will run out of strength. Then if you have resisted to that limit, you can expect one of two things to occur. Either it will stop, just all of a sudden the river will run dry; or you will be filled with new strength, running and jumping upstream.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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.”
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
“For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a shield to all those that trust in him.”
“This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.’”
Let us pray — Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we can break free from the river of no return, and by your life-giving Spirit, find peace that flows like a gentle river, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.