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 (NIV)
Ways Of Escape
I know that I am not unique. I know that I am not all alone. I will never experience temptations that are not common to the rest of mankind. Nor will I ever be tempted beyond my ability to withstand that temptation. That’s true. I also know that you will provide me a way of escape out of every temptation I will face. Yes, I will.
It sounds to me like you have some questions. Yes, I do have a few questions. What will your way of escape out of temptation look like? Is there some wisdom you can give me about your ways of escape out of temptation? Those are very good questions that I would like to hear you answer. I thought you might say that. Well, I did. So, let me hear your answers. The ways of escape out of temptation will be as varied as the temptations themselves. Give some examples. One way of escape out of temptation is to not let myself enter into it in the first place. I already know when, where and how I am most likely to be tempted. I am not usually overtaken by some rare and unusual temptation that I have never encountered before. I already know that there are places I should not go and things I should not do. Being around certain people and places and in some circumstances is like opening a door to temptation. So, you will not go where you should not go? You will not do what you should not do? You will separate yourself from people and places and things that you find tempting? Yes, that’s true. That’s a good start. What else? I know that my defenses against temptation can be weak or they can be strong. How so? If I am allowing your word to dwell in me richly, my defenses against temptation will be strong. Why is that? I will be meditating on your word. I will be thinking your thoughts, speaking your words and taking your actions. So, my word will guard and guide your life? Yes, that’s it. So, you are really talking about my defenses for you rather than your defenses? Yes, I am. On my own, without your protection, I am defenseless against temptation. Your Holy Spirit will take your word and use it to fight in me, with me, for me and through me so I will be able to stand against temptation and resist evil. That’s true. What else? I am not meant to live the Christian life alone. What do you mean by that? It is your plan that I become rooted and grounded in a body of believers. That’s true. As I live in close relationships with fellow believers I will be strengthened and encouraged and lifted up. It is your plan for me to be strengthened by, and to strengthen, other believers so we can stand against temptation and resist evil. Yes, it is. Anything else? Yes, sometimes your way of escape out of temptation simply involves running from it. Yes, it does. Will you take all these ways of escape? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, thank you that I will never experience a temptation that is not common to the rest of mankind. I am not unique, nor am I all alone. Thank you for always providing, for me, a way of escape out of temptation. Help me to see and quickly take that way. Amen
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