I CORINTHIANS 10:13: “There isn’t any temptation that you have experienced which is unusual for humans. God, who faithfully keeps his promises, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist. But when you are tempted, he will also give you the ability to endure the temptation as your way of escape.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: “Well…I am only human!” How many times have I heard this excuse for the sin and failures of life? More importantly, how many times have I believed this excuse for my own life? The insidious thing about a clever lie is that it is always cloaked in a partial truth. And such is the lie about temptation.
The lie about temptation is that none of us can escape it because we are human.
Our sinful nature makes it impossible to live without mistakes and failures. We are left to a perpetual cycle of temptation, sin, and running to God for forgiveness…so the enemy would like us to think!
I will never forget the first time I rode the “Texas Star” Ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair. I have a fear of heights, but I went anyway. I followed the crowd, and ultimately it was my choice to get into the big swinging basket. As this big wheel began to turn I clung on for dear life enduring the ride…until it stopped at the top and began to swing. It was then that I knew I had made the wrong choice. It was then that I began to repent getting on the big wheel. It was then I knew that I needed someone to intervene to get me off this ride, as I could not do it myself!
Does that sound familiar? When we face temptation in our life it is the natural pull of the sin that is all around us and the bent of our old nature toward that sin.
However, in every situation, in every moment, the believer in Jesus Christ has a choice!
The lie of the enemy that tries to entrap us is that we do not have a choice. We cannot resist. “We are only human”. Yet, when we gave our lives to Jesus Christ through faith, something dynamic happened. We were not only forgiven from sin’s penalty of death, we were delivered from sin’s power of dominion over our lives and over our choices!
- “So consider yourselves dead to sin’s power but living for God in the power Christ Jesus gives you. Therefore, never let sin rule your physical body so that you obey its desires. Never offer any part of your body to sin’s power. No part of your body should ever be used to do any ungodly thing. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have come back from death and are now alive. Offer all the parts of your body to God. Use them to do everything that God approves of. Certainly, sin shouldn’t have power over you because you’re not controlled by God’s laws, but by God’s favor.” (Romans 6:11-14 GW)
What a powerful truth! What an awesome promise! What a blessed victory! Paul exhorts us all – “…sin shouldn’t have power over you because you’re not controlled by God’s laws (and the weakness of our sinful nature in fulfilling them), but by God’s favor (and the power of the Holy Spirit through His love)…”
To break it down, when I sin, I have an “advocate” – Jesus Christ the righteous. He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Yet this promise of forgiveness is not a free pass to sin. If I view it this way, I forget the power of His promise, the power of His favor in my life – “…But when you are tempted, he will also give you the ability to endure the temptation as your way of escape.”
When we are tempted to sin – we have a “deliverer”!
We must come to grips with the choice of trusting in the completed work of Jesus Christ and His promise, or trusting in our weakness and sin. The choice is clear, but the choice is not always made.
Each time I go to the State Fair of Texas – I have a choice! No one forces me at gunpoint to buy a ticket to ride the Texas Star. No crowd of people holds the influence to get me in line. If I buy a ticket, if I get in line, if I step into the basket – I alone have made the choice. I am fully culpable and responsible.
The temptations in my life are not more difficult than others face. The choices in life are not skewed in such a way that I really have no choice.
By faith in Christ Jesus I always have a choice! I always have a choice to respond to His Great Grace!
If I am honest and lift up my eyes of faith – behold…there is a way of escape!
In Jesus Name!