But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).
What is a cancer? My definition: A cancer is something that is foreign to the place where it lives. A cancer can spread and invade other places in your body or in your life. There is the cancer that we all know — abnormal cells that reproduce in our body causing our normal cells trouble. There is also the cancer of sin. Sin that finds its way into our thoughts and that spreads through our heart.
Lance Armstrong is featured in a recent television commercial on cancer. He speaks of how cancer made him stronger. I connected with his words, because that is what the Lord did for me through my son's battle with a brain tumor, a benign cancer. Jack was five at the time of diagnosis. He is now seven, and we continue to work through struggles with his continued health.
Through the months of chemotherapy, I sat right next to Jack in a large room filled with men, women, and children being treated for cancer. There was a common feeling in the room, "I will do all I can to keep the cancer from taking over my body. I will not lie down quietly while my body dies a quiet death. I will fight for my life and I will not give up. Lord help me."
The sense of accomplishment when those words come true cannot even be described. It is like falling over a cliff, grabbing on to a lone branch, and climbing back up to the top. The Lord is mightily by your side, creating that branch that you grabbed, making foot holds in the cliff gently with His fingertip, and giving us the avenues to climb. However, the steps must be taken by us. We must reach out for that branch. We must look for the next place to put our feet. We must climb toward the top, trusting even in times of uncertainty.
Once that mountaintop is reached, there is a feeling of beating death, a strength has been tapped into that likely we did not even know existed. The future is filled with more intentional actions, focusing on what is important. The little things that once ruined our day are now just inconveniences. There is an urgency to share the Gospel and a boldness that was not there before.
What happens if a Christian doesn't make it to the top of that cliff?
And for those left on earth to live another day, we continue to strive to run the race and persevere with a renewed spirit.
The cancer of sin can leave us even more helpless than physical cancer. God will give you a branch to grasp, a foothold to climb, and an avenue of escape. With a spiritual cancer, we must use God's word rather than chemo. Praise and worship are the shot in the arm to raise our spirits. The avenues of escape are there, so dig in your heels, let God help you, and resolve to fight against Satan's influence in your life.
When you get to the top of that mountain, the feeling is much the same as it is with defeating physical cancer. You have an urgency to share the Gospel. You are more intentional about using your life for important things. You are committed to not letting the cancer take hold again.
Cancer is called the silent disease because it often grows in us without our awareness. I believe that sin can be even more silent than physical cancer. There is no test a doctor can do to detect it, but the Holy Spirit will always know the state of our spirit. His job is to convict us (John 16:7-8) and to empower us (Ephesians 3:14-21; 1 John 4:4). So pray for God to open your eyes to the silent killer in your life, then start looking for the branch, the foothold, and the avenue! If you look closely, the top is in site!