“You are my friend if you do what I command” (John 15:16).
“Let me out at the next corner,” the boy said, as he was riding with four of his friends. Several of them asked why he wanted to get out of the car. “Are you chicken?” The fifteen-year-old ignored their questions, and said a bit more forcibly, “Please let me out!” The car pulled over to the curb. He climbed over one of his friends and got out. “See ya’ later,” he said to them, turning and walking away as the car sped off. The group was going to a party where teenage boys and girls would be drinking beer and whisky, dancing, and eventually pairing off for sex. As he rode with them, an inner voice said to him, “This is wrong. You’re a Christian. Don’t do this.” That’s why, in spite of peer pressure, he got out of the car.
As verse two in the old hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus” tells us, he can help us in our trials and temptations. Jesus helps us by warning us. Temptations don’t sneak up on Christians. We recognize them when they come.
In addition to the inner voice, the Bible tells us how to avoid being overcome by temptation. Surprisingly, it doesn’t tell us to confront it, take it on, or fight it. It simply says run from it, avoid it, don’t go near it. The inner voice we have as Christians will warn us, but it is up to us to avoid it.
It may help us also to remember what God tells us in I John 3:4, “Greater is he (Jesus) that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com