From a recent sermon by Mark Driscoll on temptation:
Most of you don’t believe this: escape is always possible. What happens is, for some of us, the hook has been there so long that it’s like, “I can’t ever get free of it. I used to eat all the bait. Now, I eat some of the bait. I used to eat the bait every week, now I only eat the bait once a month.”
Or, “I eat the bait, but it’s my dad’s fault, he ate the bait too and it’s a habitual family issue. My counselor says it’s a genetic issue. I come from a long line of people who are addicted to this particular bait. I can’t really stop.” So, I need to blame someone else, manage it, and hide it. “Oh, I’ll just go over here in the dark all by myself and I’ll eat my bait and I’ll put the hook in my mouth. But, if I do it privately, it won’t count.” God’s there too.
See, some of you would take the bait and you’ll put it, you’ll walk so close to it. Like, “Oh my goodness, look at that. That’s amazing. I would like to eat that, smoke that, drink that, get my hands on that, do that twice.” God would say, “Hey, there’s a door over here that’s open and you could walk out it and be free.” “I don’t see any door.” “Really? Well, there is one right over there.” “Yeah, this is so big and so real and so awesome and so close.” God would say, “Do you see the hook?” “No, I don’t see the hook. I see some pretty amazing bait.”
The truth is you have two choices: the hook or the door. You either bite the hook or run out the door. Those are your only options. I’ll give you a verse, so that I can win: 1 Corinthians 10:13–14, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” Don’t worship anything or anyone other than God.
What he’s saying is this. When temptation comes, keep your senses. Look for the way out. There is a door of escape somewhere. There’s a way out of it. Some of you have said for so long, “Well, I’m already dating them. I’m already at the club. I’ve already logged onto the internet. I already started this conversation, you know. I’m already halfway there.” Run. Run out the door of opportunity that God gives.
You have two choices, friends, the hook or the door. You bite the hook or run out the door. Your whole life, it utterly depends on the decisions you make in those moments. There’s always a way out. You and I, we love to always be the victim. “I couldn’t help it. It was not my fault, my friends blank, my life blank, this blank, God that.” No way. The door was open and your eyes were closed. Repentance is believing that. Some of you need to go back over your life history and some of the major traumatic decisions you made and say, “Holy Spirit, show me where the door was open so that I can repent of having my eyes closed. And please help me to keep my eyes open. And please help me to keep my feet moving.”