Find Your Escape Hatch

“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)

The devil isn’t all that original.  He’s never created anything.  All he’s ever done is lie and pervert God’s creation.  He takes God’s creation, intended to turn our focus to the Lord, and tempts us to make it all about us – our wants, our desires, our fears…

He makes someone else’s blessing our jealousy.

He whispers in our ears, telling us we deserve better.

He empties us of hope, leaving us with a void we try to stuff with food, or drink, or drugs, or entertainment, or bad relationships.

Jesus called him “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10, ESV).  And for good reason.  The simple truth is this: Satan hates you.  And he is going to do all he can to tempt you away from the Lord. 

But take heart!  If you’re a Christian, you have an escape pod.  An emergency exit.  A way out.  To find it, you have to get down on your knees.

No, it isn’t under the bed.

Consider this:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:12-20 (ESV)

Our battle isn’t against people.  It isn’t against this world.  In fact, the battle isn’t really ours.  Ephesians 6:12-20 instructs us to stand strong in God.  Stay in faith, stay in the Word (which is where we find Truth) and stay connected in prayer.  There’s a real good reason Paul warns us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  In prayer, we draw near to God.  And when we draw near to God, He draws near to us! (James 4:8). 

We have to keep our focus on God.  When trouble comes, pray.  When the situation is too much, give it to the Lord.  Remember God’s promises.  If you stumble, take a wrong turn – and we all do – get back up in faith and cling to Jesus.

Satan may not be all that original, but he is a strong adversary.  However, he is also a defeated foe. God is stronger, God is sovereign, and God loves you.  With every temptation (which more literally means “test”) that is leveled our way, the Lord provides a way out.  Drop to your knees and and escape to the safety of Jesus.

Don’t Just Take My Word For It…

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (ESV)

If you are wrestling with doubt, wondering if Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for your / our sins was a real event, I want you to look closely at what Paul has written here.  Paul assures us “as of first importance” that Jesus really did die on the cross and return on the third day as foretold in the Old Testament and promised by Christ Himself.  But now… Paul offers proof.

Jesus appeared to Peter and the disciples.  OK… but I want you to look at verse 6:

“Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive.”

In other words, at the time Paul was still writing this letter to the church at Corinth, there were still hundreds – hundreds – of eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ walking this earth.  There was proof aplenty that Christ is risen from the dead, just as He promised!  He’s saying, “Don’t just take my word for it.  There are plenty of people who will testify to what I am telling you!”

Doubt is something we all deal with at one time or another, on one level or another.  When life gets tough and troubles darken our door, we can find ourselves asking, “Where are you, God?”  “Why are you allowing this?”  “I can’t handle this – why are you not answering my prayers?”

If you find yourself questioning the veracity of God’s Word, consider this: Jesus at the Cross is the center of all of Scripture.  It records the most astounding – and hard to believe – event that has ever occurred on Earth.  And Paul – the Apostle formerly known as Saul, learned Pharisee who hunted down Christians (even holding the coats of Stephen’s killers), who had his own astounding face-to-face with the Risen Christ and pirouetted the world’s most amazing 180 degree life turn – Paul is not asking us to take him at his word. 

Over five hundred eyewitnesses.  Most of them still alive.  Don’t just believe me… ask them! 

And if the greatest, most outlandish claim of Scripture is true (and Paul is going to lengths to prove to the reader that it is), then why would we not believe the rest of the Bible?  Why would we not trust God and take Him at His Word? 

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14, ESV).  Hard to believe Paul would turn his life – his entire belief system – entirely around and face almost certain (and painful) death.  Consider what Paul went through for the sake of the Gospel:

Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:23-28, ESV).

Who would go to these lengths to perpetuate a lie?  There must be something to the claims Paul – and the other Scripture writers – are making.  And, indeed, there is.  It is the fact that the Bible – 66 books penned by some forty writers over the course of about 1500 years in three different languages, all while holding remarkable continuity – is the Inspired Word of God, trustworthy and true.  Just look at the intricacy of John’s gospel.  Do you really think a simple, uneducated fisherman would have been able to write it?  Well… with God, nothing is impossible!

Don’t just take my word for it…


“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20 (ESV)

Break it down…

“Where two or three are gathered…” Very simple… just need one or two other believers with you…

“in My name…”  Gathered seeking God’s will, coming together in agreement with the Lord…

“There I am among them.”  Jesus is there.  His Spirit is present. 

Where two or three believers come together, Christ is there with them.

When you gather with one or two other believers to pray, and your focus is on the Lord and His will, Jesus is there in your midst.

It is here that we grow.

It is here we find strength and comraderie.

It is here we find strength in Christ.

A small group.

Gathered in His name.

And He is among them.

He is among you.

Ever present.


All powerful.

The God of the Universe among you.

With you.

In agreement.

Let that marinate for a while.  How can this simple yet astounding fact impact your life, your walk, your ministry?


I think I’ve touched on this subject before.  I probably will again someday, forgetting that I wrote this today.

It occurs to me that, as human beings, we see nothing really.  Nothing but reflected light.  Right now, our dog is laying on the sofa between my wife and I .  I cannot see her – or the Indianapolis Colts blanket she is laying in, or my beautiful bride, or the sofa we are vegging on.  All I can see is the light reflected off all these things.  Take away or alter the light, and my eyes and brain cannot correctly perceive what I “see.”

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV). 

We all shine a light.  And we all perceive light around us.  However, there are a lot of environmental factors that can alter our perception of our lives and the situations that surround us.  Past experiences, present expectations, worries, doubts, fears, pain, illness, hard times, sins, temptations… all these things filter the light that shines on our lives and colors our view.

As believers in Christ, we need to let the light of God’s Word illuminate our circumstances.  We need to muster up the faith to close our eyes to the fears of the world and trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).

You may not feel like this is the truth.  You may not be able to see it.  But remember… circumstances color perception.  When our faith is weak – when we can’t see hope – we need to cling to God’s promises.  Now… lest I stand accused of hypocrisy, understand that, due to my circumstances, I have to remind myself of the preeminence of God’s truth over my perceptions every day.  Several times a day.  And I need to have people in my life who will shine God’s light for me, brothers and sisters in Christ who remind me often that they love me and, more – most – importantly, God loves me.  And that isn’t just an abstract theological idea, but absolute truth.  I am humbly grateful for the people God has put in my life to shine His light upon me and help me perceive it correctly. 

And I pray that, through these words, I am able to shine God’s light and bring you hope as well.

Be Here Now

I didn’t see it coming.  Just as I had started writing on a project called Shipwrecked, I did just that.

I never saw the lighthouse.

I didn’t see the reef.

I ran aground – hard.

I am now resting, regrouping and relearning. 

And rewriting.  Journaling, blogging… prayerfully and carefully and oh so slowly.

As I have shuffled through the past week, three words keep coming back to me: be here now.  It is a notion I will write more on later as well.  But for tonight, I want to keep it simple.  I want to keep it real.

I want to look at Jesus.

When I look at the example of Jesus, He kept His apostles riveted in on the here and now.  He made promises to assure them of the future, and provided forgiveness for the past.  But Jesus Christ lived in the moment, in the Father’s absolutely perfect timing.  That is where Christ lived.

That is where we need to live.

The past is gone – forgiven, buried and done.  The future is still to come, filled with great promise for believers of Jesus.  To live life stuck in past glories or past pain is to live a lie.  To live focused solely on our plans and dreams and wants is equally dishonest.

Consider today what God wants from you.  Each of us is where we are by the grace and sovereignty of a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God Who exists outside of our limitations (time, space, etc…) 

Consider today the sovereignty of God.

Consider today how you can serve the Lord.

Consider today.  Forget what lies behind (Philippians 3:13).  Do not be anxious for tomorrow (Matthew 6:34).  Be here now.

Be here now.