When I was 17 I was a theatre major in college. A common tradition in theatre is that after a big production everyone involved goes to a cast party. Another common thing with theatre kids is that they are very involved in pot and heavy drinking. I feel it is important for you to know that was not the case with me; I was very much devoted to my faith and had no desire to smoke weed or become a heavy drinker, especially at 17. Even while I knew this was the case amongst my fellow actors I decided to go to the party anyway.
When we ask God to not lead into temptation and to deliver us from evil it is important for us to evaluate our situation and not put ourselves in danger of temptation. This, I did not do. I knew the other Christian in the group was not going (for obvious reasons), but I decided that I was a strong enough Christian to handle any situation thrown at me. A little tidbit of information for all believers out there, never trust your strength so much that you think you can handle any temptation.
When I got to the party it was already in full swing; people were drinking, smoking pot, and just acting like idiots. Did I listen to God’s voice when he was telling me to leave? No, I reassured Him that I was strong enough (another thing to keep in mind, if you feel like you are reassuring God that you have made a good decision… run) for most of the night I just ate brownies and denied drinks. That was until a pretty girl decided she wanted to dance with me and offered me a drink.
Every guy already understands the dilemma I put myself into, but for you girls I will clarify: if a pretty girl offers a guy anything, he will usually be dumb enough to give the wrong answer. So half way through the beer I came to my senses and got my butt away from the dance floor. But that does not mean I finally started making good choices.
I joined the group at the fire pit. They too were drinking beers, but this group also happened to be smoking pot. So I just sat back and kept eating brownies and watched these guys act like idiots. Every once in a while I would chime in with a joke or comment, eventually someone asked how much I had drank. I told them I only had half a beer and was now just eating these brownies till the alcohol was out of my system so I could drive home. He then asked which pan I had been grabbing brownies from. As it turns out the pan I had chosen from happened to be the brownie pan laced with weed!
The moral of the story is that we are not too strong for temptation. The devil is too cunning and evil for us to outsmart. When I prayed that God would keep me from temptation he gave me many outs, starting with the fact that I knew what kind of party it would be and God had made it clear to me that I had no business being there. Too often we pray for God to deliver us from temptation and from evil but we do not do our part in listening to His guidance.
God cares for us and never wants us to be in a position like the one I was in that night. We can ask for God’s help all day but until we are ready to listen to what He has to say our prayers will be in vain. I encourage you to not only pray, but to act upon the guidance God gives you.
Have you ever put yourself into a position of temptation knowing full well that God has a different plan?