GOD PROMISES AN ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION
(At the start of 2021 I began a series of blogs about God’s promises. Our faith as Christians is based on knowing and believing what God assures us in His Word, yet many Christians struggle because they are ignorant of these declarations. The following weeks will continue the series of blogs I started on the promises of God. If you have a favorite Bible promise please send it to me!)
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Every time you come to a fork in the road there are two options: go right or left. You can’t go both. With no option you just keep going straight. Life is that way as well. Every time we are tempted to sin, we also have the opportunity to resist and keep from sin. Satan and our flesh tempt us to disobey God and meet our needs our way, but God also provides an escape from that, a chance to trust and obey Him.
Paul tells us 3 things about temptation in this verse that should be a comfort and help. 1. Every temptation we face is “common to man.” It’s not beyond what others face, it’s what all mankind experiences. Jesus Himself faced every temptation we face – and didn’t give in to any of them (Hebrews 4:15). Joseph’s temptation to give into Potiphar’s wife’s advances is common (Genesis 39). He couldn’t excuse it as something unusual or unique to him.
- Every temptation we face is never too much or “beyond what we can bear.” That’s an important promise because often we feel we face more and worse situations than others. We say “It is too much” and “I can’t bear it,” but those are lies. The truth is that it isn’t too much to resist. We never have to sin. Joseph couldn’t use the excuse that the temptation to sleep with Potiphar’s wife was too great for him to overcome. As strong as it must have been, he wasn’t forced to give in and sin.
- With every temptation God always “provides a way out, so we can stand up under it.” We don’t have to battle it toe to toe because God always makes it possible to run from it, either physically (like Joseph from Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39) or spiritually. Note that it says: God “provides” a way out. It is always there, but we have to go through it. He doesn’t force us against our free will. We must physically remove ourselves from the area of temptation and/or spiritually separate from it by claiming God’s truth over the lies we are tempted to believe. Joseph resisted by running from the physical presence of the temptation so he wouldn’t give in.
It seems Joseph was also tempted to gain revenge on his brothers when they came to Egypt for food (Genesis 42-44). When we are hurt by someone, we are tempted to become bitter and seek revenge. This, too, is a common temptation but not beyond what we can resist. God always provides a way to resist, and that is what Joseph did when he revealed himself to his brothers and forgave them (Genesis 45:1-15).
We spiritually separate, or escape from temptation by filling our hearts and minds with God’s truth. Knowing and quoting Bible verses is the best way to have victory over temptation. Jesus did just that (Matthew 4:1-11). It’s our sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. … I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9,11).
When someone goes into a dangerous situation, they always plan a way out before they enter. Living life as a Christian is dangerous because we face many temptations from the flesh and Satan. We need a plan of escape as we start each and every day. Do you know where your greatest temptations will come from? What is your plan of escape when they hit? What must you do to remove yourself from it physically, socially, emotionally or spiritually? Being prepared ahead is the best way to have victory.
What is your escape when you see or hear something that tempts you to sinful thoughts, when you are hurt and want to hurt them back, or when you face whatever temptation seems to be Satan’s most successful in getting you to sin?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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