Jesus taught his followers to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). Temptations are habit-forming that result in servitude. It is not God but the evil one that wants us to taste the forbidden fruit before we think of the consequences (James 1:13; Genesis 3). Once we taste repeatedly what is pleasurable, we are no longer capable of controlling it. Who will bail us out? Experts tell us that 70% kick their addictions by sheer determination and only 15% do it with drugs or medical assistance. To those of us that believe we can be accountable for our bad or good habits, it is welcome news. But for those among us that are unwilling to take charge of their own lives, it is bad news. Particularly, those among us that believe someone else is in charge of our lives and destiny need to be warned. God did not bail out Adam and Eve or anyone else in the Bible.
Our Creator has endowed us with the ability to manage our lives and affairs. He has provided for us directions and guidelines. He has even given us examples to follow and not to follow. However, He will not take hold of us by our lapels and drag us into His court and sentence us to a confinement where we can come to our senses. We do that to ourselves. Our passions imprison our will and become subjects to addictions and habits. In the process, 15% never break free of their shackles. That loss is a staggering number. The lack of determination is even higher among us Christians because we wait for God’s Spirit to move us. Like, our Lord Jesus, we too must set our faces toward a better world and move in that direction (Luke 9:51; KJ).
What about the promise that God will draw and deliver us? Yes, He still does call all of us; but only few leave their earthly prisons and go back home to the Father where they can be restored into the family. “Many are called but few are chosen.” Why are they chosen? Like the Prodigal, they determine to leave the pigs, return home and throw themselves at the mercy of their father. And the Father is only too eager to be merciful (Luke 15:17-24). What about “The Parable of The Lost Sheep?” Did not the shepherd look for it until he found it and returned it to the fold (Luke 16:1-7)? Friend, there is an enormous difference between being lost like a sheep and a man that deliberately leaves a healthy environment for one that spells ruin.
There are times in our life when circumstances disable us from making our way back to safety; but it will not be God coming our way. That is why we ought to make friends that will take us back to the fold (Mark 2:3). In most instances when Jesus healed, people came or were brought to him. Even Zacchaeus had to come off a tree and open his home so Jesus could reach his kind (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus could not help those that did not want his help (Mark 6:4-5). We must make an effort to save ourselves (Acts 2:40). In doing so, we may also save others (I Timothy 4:16). The harsh reality is that Christ will not and cannot do what we must do to start with. We must want to be delivered from whatever keeps us from leading a normal life.