Jump Start #3296
Jump Start # 3296
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
Temptation—the apostle mentions it three times in this one sentence. Temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never sinned. Temptation is the devil knocking on the door of our hearts. When we get up and open that door and invite the devil in, that’s when trouble begins. Temptation comes in many forms. And, temptation changes as a person changes. There are youthful lusts. But there are also temptations that older folks battle. There are temptations of the mind and there are temptations of the flesh. Some of our struggles against temptation may be obvious and visible to others. But many times, no one knows what we are going through and what we face.
Three things are said about temptation in this verse. First, what we face is what others have faced. It is common to man. No one faces something totally unique to mankind. It might be new to you, but it is not to the world. Second, God puts limits on the temptation. Satan is not more powerful than God. There are restrictions to Satan and God will not break your back with these temptations that you face. Third, with the temptation, comes a way out. It is a door of escape that is provided by God. The Lord doesn’t leave us on our own. He doesn’t cross His fingers and just hope we’ll make it through safely. Not at all. God is providing escape hatches for us. There are other options. There are other choices. We don’t have to open the door to temptation.
Some thoughts for us as we think about “the way of escape”:
First, the way of escape may not be easy. It may be hard because everyone around us are encouraging us to do wrong. It may be hard because it requires us saying, “No,” and some just can’t seem to say that. It may be hard because it means being different and even going a different direction than others are traveling. There is a way of escape, it just may not be easy.
Second, the way of escape may not be what we are wanting. This is why temptation is called ‘temptation.’ It looks good. It sounds good. Others tell us it is good. And, we really want it. Satan pulls on the strings of our hearts. We stop thinking and we start feeling and it may just be hard to find that way of escape because it’s not what we are wanting. It’s a conflict between the soul and the flesh, the mind and the heart, the inside and the outside of us.
Third, the way of escape is always the right way to go because it is provided by God. This is the direction that the Lord wants you to go. Satan and his ugly sisters are always cheering us on to do wrong. We must always go the direction of God. Where is the Lord standing? That’s where we need to be.
Once a person has gone through that door of escape and has a moment to look back, he will understand what a right choice that was. At the moment, his eyes were spinning and he was mixed up about what he wanted to do, but once he finds that path out of there, there is such a great confident feeling. Satan lost that battle. God helped you. God got you through that. It may have been close. Satan may have been right at your heels, but you saw the way out and you took it.
Finally, God will not take us by the hand and force us out. We must look for that escape route. We must find where God is. The other day I ran across some old escape routes someone made for our church building in case of a fire or disaster. You see similar things on the back of hotel doors and in schools. In a moment of leaving rapidly, one needs to know which direction to go. The same is true for us spiritually.
Now, there is a great lesson for us here. One can’t wait until a hallway is filled with smoke to try to find the best way out. It might be too late. Even before movies begin at the theatre, there is an announcement about locating the nearest exit. They tell you similar things on airplanes. Knowing how to get out is essential to our safety.
There are times our lack of sense can invite temptation. A married man should not be alone with a woman he is not married to unless it’s his mother or sister. The innocent chit-chatting over lunch or after work between a man and a woman can be the first step that leads to infidelity.
Having just one person count the money collected at church on Sunday can be a real temptation. No one else sees the numbers. How easy it is to embezzle. Have a pair or more of men involved and some real accountability in place. This just keeps Satan from knocking on the doors of our heart.
Ways of escape…do you know your plan spiritually?