The Holy Spirit just said to me, “Avoidance does not mean Deliverance.”
I didn’t quite know what he meant by that. But as I sat and meditated on those words, it finally hit me. You can try to avoid having sex, but if someone you are really sexually attracted to pushes up on you, will you give in? You can try to avoid watching porn, but if a video pops up on your computer screen, will you click on it? You can try to avoid stealing, but if you see something that you really want and no one is around to catch you, will you take it?
How will you know if you are delivered unless you are put to the test? These trials will come to prove the genuineness of your faith (1 Peter 1:7). Now, this does not imply that you should go out and put yourself in a tempting situation to see if you can handle it. No, do not put any confidence in your flesh. But, when temptation knocks on your door and you refuse to open it, that’s how you know you have mastered that area in your life. When you are able to stare temptation in the face and say NO to it, that’s how you know you are truly delivered. Your ability to avoid temptation doesn’t prove your deliverance (though it is wise to avoid and flee temptation). But it is your ability to deny temptation when it presents itself to you (no matter how bad your flesh may be craving it) that proves your deliverance.
Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.
1 Peter 1:7
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.