Life Lessons Learned from Escape Rooms
A devotional by Chaplain Anderson
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
–1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Some of my friends went out for a night of fun. They went to an escape room.
The fun of this experience for them was finding clues, cracking codes, solving complex problems and completing puzzles. The challenge to escape was intensified by a time clock that set the rules: Escape in 60 minutes or less and you won.
There have been times in my life when I have felt boxed in by challenges or temptations. Some of them seemed to last forever and my endurance failed. Some abated in due season. Early in my adult life, I heard a preacher say, “God has the key to every seemingly interminable temptation or unrelenting circumstance. Stop looking at the problem and look for the way of escape.”
He was referring to 1 Corinthians 10:13. The New Living Translation of this Bible verse says: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
When you are burdened, tempted, or facing some of the inevitable trials of life, strengthen yourself with three thoughts:
Thought #1: Whatever you are experiencing may be new to you, but someone has experienced this and overcome it. In fact, Jesus, our High Priest, was tempted in every area of life—like we are, have been or will be—and He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). You can get through this like those overcomers who blazed the trail for you.
Thought #2: God is faithful! He will not abandon you in your times of deepest allurement. When the waves of oppression or opposition threaten to overwhelm you, call out to Emmanuel and remember God is with us!
Remember the Bible story found in Daniel 3:1-30 where three disciples of Jesus Christ had their faith in God and allegiance to Him tested. They refused to bow down to the gold statue of King Nebuchadnezzar, even under the threat of being thrown into a furnace! Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego believed that God would be with them, even under fiery duress and God showed up for them, right in the middle of the flames so they were not set ablaze. These three friends lived to tell the story of how their God saved their life! They rightly perceived that they would not be able to escape via the same portal through which they were thrown into the flames. But they chose to only bow down to God, not man. And God rewarded their faith-filled loyalty!
However, though unsinged and smokefree, they were not the same men who went into the flame. Likewise, when you are delivered from your prevailing circumstances, you too will be different. Surviving the fires of life transform us. Faith experiences refine our characters. You will be different because you survived in the midst of the flames. You will be more confident about yourself and your God who secured and delivered you.
Thought #3: The third thought is that you, by faith, can find the exit to any situation. You may have gone to the wrong place and stayed too long, but, God has prepared—even before your arrival—a way of escape. But they key is that you must access it. Looking at the door is not sufficient. Move to the portal and step into your deliverance by faith!
When the places of comfort and validation become threatening, we must act in faith rather than fear. Those who are weak-willed will give in and never find the divine portal of transformation. When God delivers the ones who leave, He leaves them different, triumphant and exalted.
So, take this text with you today: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
This is the key to your escape room from temptation, opposition and oppression.
Let’s Pray: Dear God, may the readers of this message find encouragement and fortitude for the day and for their future. If and when they feel locked into strife, enticement or conflict, please help them to shift focus from the trial to the way of escape that you have promised and provided. Deliver them from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever! In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Song of Reflection: "Another In The Fire" by Hillsong UNITED. Listen to it here.
Chaplain Paul Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.
Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.
He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.
You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address, firstname.lastname@example.org.