Staying on Top (“Water Skiing” With Charles Leiter)

1 Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB)
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Charles Leiter has the God given ability to present complicated theological concepts, through simple illustrations…

“It’s possible that we live, and it’s expected that we live, in a realm… where instead of being under, you are over. You’re above!”

(Here is the link for the sermon that I am quoting.)

The point here is that the Christian has something that the non-Christian does not. It’s the ability to avoid defeat through sin.

As I continue to quote Leiter, please keep in mind what Paul said to the Church in Corinth…

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

Leiter goes on…

“I never did learned to ski. I tried it one time when I was a kid. I don’t know how old I was, Maybe the sixth grade or something, or younger. But, I learned enough about skiing to know this… There’s a difference between being under the water, and being on top of the water. I mean, when you get up on top of the water it doesn’t mean that you will never fall down again. But, there’s a whole world of difference between being on top, than there is when you’re starting out and you’re plowing through the water. Now, I’m not able to give an exact answer to this question: What do we mean by ‘victory’? But, I know this much… It’s possible for you as a Christian to be on top of the water, instead of under the water…”

This is exactly Paul’s point. Being “on top of the water,” as Leiter said, is synonymous with Paul’s encouragement for the Corinthians to understand that God will “not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.” And, when temptation is present, “He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

Why?

Because, “God is faithful.”

It is His being “faithful” which enables us (Christians) to be, as Leiter says, “on top of the water.” That’s the “realm” where we are “expected” to live. Yes, we will still “fall down again,” as Leiter says, but as he also says, “there’s a whole world of difference between being on top, than there is when you’re starting out and you’re plowing through the water.” When we live under, “plowing through the water,” that’s where we live in defeat, and there’s no excuse for it. Instead, we are to live in “victory.”

Why?

Because, as Paul says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.” In other words, nothing we face is beyond the ordinary. Nothing we face, as Paul says, is beyond “escape.”

We (Christians) ought to be brought up “on top of the water” by Paul’s words!

Leiter continues…

“…And, you can walk in areas, things that you’re struggling with – you can be free from that! When you come to God as a Christian, and you cry out to Him and you say, “Oh Lord, set me free,” (and, you believe the truth of what His word says), lo and behold, you’re on top of the water now! It doesn’t mean you’ll never fail again, and it doesn’t mean you’ll never sin again in that area, but it means that something is happening.”

We must remember (again), that “God is faithful,” and that it is this faithfulness which is what will sustain us.

Paul said such at the beginning of this same letter to the Corinthians…

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (HCSB)
“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; you were called by Him into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Leiter, later concludes…

“I remember years ago, when I was just out of college, I had memorized that verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13; about no temptation has taken you. And, I had these thoughts, ‘If I could believe that, that would change my life.’ Sometimes, you know, there’s a point in there somewhere, where you quit saying, “If I could believe that…” (which is basically saying, ‘God is a liar.’), and, you start saying, ‘Wow! This is true! It is TRUE that the next thing that I face, the next temptation that I face, God is faithful. He will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able, but He will make a way of escape.’ There will be a way of escape there. That’s the reality, and you quit saying this and just rejoice in the reality of it. It’s a transforming thing… We’re talking about believing, having your mind renewed to see what’s true. We’re not talking about pretending anything. You remember when Paul says, ‘we’ve died to sin’? He’s not saying you pretend that sin doesn’t affect you anymore. That’s not what it means to die to it. It means that we’ve passed out of that realm. We’re in a new realm now. That’s really true, that we’ve passed out of that realm. It’s really true that it’s not master over us anymore. So, he’s not asking you to pretend something that isn’t true, or that what you know isn’t true. But, he’s asking you to accept something that is, in fact, the reality. And, once you realize, ‘Wait a minute, now. I don’t have to be defeated by this anymore,’ (and, to believe what God has said) that’s what it means by ‘be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’ That you might prove what is that good, and acceptable (and perfect) rule of God.”

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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