Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 2:1-5:1 / 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13 / Psalm 97:1-12
We all like back doors. We refer to quick exits, slipping out the back door and fire escapes metaphorically as opportunities to get out of suffocating, pressurized and uncomfortable circumstances. We like to know that we aren’t trapped but able to somehow escape.
Temptation by definition is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret because of the consequences it brings. There are those who fight against temptation but others have no restraint or discipline when tempted. Instead of fighting against, they submit to temptation.
Some believe there is no escape from temptation and feel defenseless when the overwhelming power of temptation attacks their thoughts and will. They put up a good fight but have no restraint or discipline when tempted. Temptation made its presence in the Garden of Eden and unsuspecting man was drawn to it by their lust and pride. They willingly gave in to the temptation and mankind has since struggled with the allurement and consequences of sin.
Paul gives us a great word of encouragement in our struggle with temptation. He writes, “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)
At times, we feel like our temptations are unique and that no one is tempted as great as we are. Temptation loves to magnify itself. It wants us to think it is faster, stronger, and more attractive than what it is. It is deceptive and never mentions the consequences of our surrender to it.
The truth is…God sees what we don’t see and knows what we don’t know. He understands that we are frail and susceptible to temptation’s allurement. God does not leave us to our destruction but guides us through valleys of temptation and brings us to plateaus of grace and strength. God is faithful to us and makes a way that we can resist and stand up under temptation. We could not defeat the power of sin without the divine intervention of Christ and we can’t defeat the power of temptation without His escape…He provides a way out!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!