"I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me." - Psalm 118:13
God, in His loving care and in His wisdom, tenderly leads His children along. He calls us to keep our eyes set on the eternal and cautions us to not be distracted by the things of this world, but then He leads us along ways that are full of the things this world offers.
We aren’t just led straight to heaven; the journey itself is a training experience. He could have just taken us to heaven when we first believed (“Beam me up, Scotty!”) but in His loving plan there is a purpose in keeping us here and teaching us to walk, face (or maybe better, ignore) temptation, and have the experience of trusting in Him and being faithful to Him.
He knows how much each of us can handle and like an expert trainer He knows what we need to develop those faith-muscles as we continue our walk with Him. We are often pushed to our limit - and then rescued. In the process we learn both sides of the coin of faith: trusting Him and becoming trustworthy ourselves.
The Lord Jesus taught us to pray, "lead us not into temptation.“ That is, “Don’t let me fall in temptation. Hold me up, deliver me when temptation comes. I’m looking to You to deliver me, help me, strengthen me, and keep me from temptations that would be too much for me, as I learn to trust You more and to be faithful.”
Lord Jesus, hold my heart, my mind, and my life close to You. Keep my eyes on things eternal. Strengthen me. Prepare me for what comes next. I’m trusting in You to keep me. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles