A lesson from deer about temptation

Deer, deer, deer.  I’ve spent a lot of time on the Midwest highways this fall and it seems that deer and cars must somehow be attracted to each other.  The evidence of these unfortunate encounters (for the deer and insurance premiums) is everywhere.

So – it just got me wondering.  How can an animal with such great reflexes, the ability to see at night, which has truly incredible speed and jumping ability not stay away from terminal encounters with vehicles?  I mean think about it – deer are a truly amazing animal that you can’t get close to when you want to (ask any hunter); but they just get slaughtered on the roads.

I finally figured it out.

It’s because of context.  In the woods there are few things faster, larger, and more wary than themselves.  Very, very few predators have the size and speed to overtake them.  In the woods a deer knows the speed of other animals.  They know what is dangerous or not and they have the speed to deal with dangerous encounters.  They know their territory and enemy.

However, out of this context – on the road – they don’t understand the threat.  They see a car 200 yards away and can’t imagine the absolutely frightening speed and size of this predator.  They deal with it using information from a context which doesn’t apply.  And they lose.

I thought about this regarding our spiritual enemy. Although he has been beaten by Christ, he is still dangerous.  And he has ages of experience in knowing how to tempt his prey.  A person may think they have the ability, in and of themselves, to withstand him. But in our own strength it is a mismatch.  Men (Herman Cain? Jerry Sandusky? Bill Clinton? Bernie Madoff?) think they have the power to face the temptations of the evil one on their own and they are fatally wrong.  All we have to do is read the papers to see the travesty the evil one can inflict on humanity.  We cannot face him in our own context; we need Christ.  We need the Holy Spirit.  We need other believers to hold us accountable and hold us up.  It is a fatal mistake to think we can face him on our own.

But, by relying on the spiritual resources given to us, we can face him successfully and live a spirit-filled, powerful life for the Lord.

Perhaps you have been facing temptation in your own power and losing.  Christ gives you the ability to face it and win. Why not try relying on Him instead of relying on your own strength.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13 NKJ)