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We need a playbook here

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. (I Corinthians 10:13)

Pay close attention to the words here - nowhere in scripture does it ever say a Christian will be 'problem-free' in life, nor that temptation and testing will somehow just magically never come our way. In fact, it promises there will be both testing and temptation - trials of our faith; testing of our conviction and dedication. What is promised is that God will ALWAYS be right there to help us come THROUGH it. He never leaves us defenseless - he expects us to set up good defenses BEFORE we have to go THROUGH them!

All of us have to face trials and temptations - there is no way to escape the fact they will come our way. If we prepare AHEAD of time, going THROUGH them with Christ at our side will mean we stand a much better chance of resisting temptation and standing strong in the midst of trials. There is more to being 'prepared' for temptation than just 'trusting Jesus to help us make it through'. While I will never discount the importance of trusting Jesus, I also will never be so naive as to believe Jesus doesn't expect us to be READY for temptation.

Having a defense prepared ahead of time means we give some thought to what breaks our defenses down the easiest. For me, it is fatigue. I just don't do well when fatigue sets in. My answers become shorter, curt, and sometimes lacking in kindness. My desire to see something through to the end wanes and I leave things undone. I know this is one of the areas in my life where the enemy can find an advantage, so I have to prepare for those moments when I will become fatigued. 

I have learned to recognize them earlier than I used to, then I take a short break from what I am doing in order to renew my mind and energy levels. I might need a quick snack and some hydration because I have ignored both while I have been 'hard at work'. I might need to do something else for a while, so my mind is taken away from the things that are so fatiguing. My plan begins with recognizing the signs of fatigue and then exercising some 'good judgment steps' to avoid going down that path that leads to wrong behavior. 

You might have heard the saying, "the best offense is a good defense", and this remains true in our spiritual lives, as well as on the sporting field. We don't avoid trials - they will come. We don't resist temptation by good thoughts alone. We need a plan - a 'play-book'. When we are prepared, we recognize when trial or temptation is upon us and we begin to 'respond' rather than 'react'. Ask God to help you develop your 'play-book' in those areas where you are most tempted or frequently tested. He won't let you down - he even provides the resources we need to overcome. Just sayin!

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