Picture the scene of a man lost at sea in a little boat filling with water. Hopefully, he is not so busy bailing out his boat that he does not see the search airplane passing overhead and miss his opportunity for rescue. As we face temptation to sin, where we are looking for help is crucial to our successfully being removed from harm’s way.
“For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You. [Jahaziel] said, “Listen, . . . thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15
Paul says, “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:22-25)
We find resolution to the dire circumstances and temptations we face, not by looking intently at the problem, but in gazing trustingly to the Source of the deliverance that will come.
“Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He is gracious to us. Be gracious to us, O Lord, be gracious to us.” Psalm 123:2-3 (see also Psalm 13:5-6)
The surest victory in the temptations we face will not come from ourselves, from our white-knuckling, teeth-clenching discipline. “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5) Our deliverance will come as we humbly admit our helplessness and our need for God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.