Psalm 123-125 1 Corinthians 10:1-18
“If you think you are strong, you should be careful not to fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 NCV)
There’s a danger for Christians that we don’t think about very often. Paul recognized that danger, especially in regard to people who sought to follow the Law – but his words apply to all Christians. He used the children of Israel as an example. While God was giving the Law to Moses, they rebelled and worshiped a golden calf with a wild party. Later, others tested God and were killed by snakes. And, because of their disbelief, the generation of Israel that left Egypt died before they reached their ultimate reward because of their rebellion. Rebellion is a result of pride. We think we’re better than others. We think we know how to handle things better than God. His admonition to those Christians who claimed to be strong is one that Christians today would do well to heed. Those who are “strong” in the faith are in the greatest danger of falling into sin.
That sounds paradoxical until you realize that claiming to be strong in the faith is a prideful statement. It’s easy to begin flirting with sin, because you know that you’re so strong that you won’t indulge yourself to the point of actually sinning. And if you do go over the line, you know that you can pull yourself back from the brink because of your strength as a Christian. The sad thing is that these are the Christians we read about in the news because as strong as they thought they were, the attraction to sin became stronger. The problem for these Christians is that they depended on their own strength and the power of the faith that they had rather than depending on God’s strength and the faith that He gives. The strength I have as a follower of Christ comes when I recognize my weakness. Travis Cottrell added a chorus to “Just As I Am” that describes how we should approach each day: “I come broken to be mended, I come wounded to be healed. I come desperate to be rescued, I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned By the blood of Christ the Lamb. And I’m welcomed with open arms, Praise God, just as I am.” As a human being, I’m broken, wounded, desperate, empty, and guilty. As a child of God, He gives me strength to get through the day not so I might win praise, but so that others might see His amazing power working in me.
Lord, my strength is in You because Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. When people look at me, may they recognize Your power in my life because I’ve neither sought to eclipse it in pride, nor hidden it by my sin.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved