Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
These particular verses Paul wrote have been used quite a bit by people in order to fight the battle of temptation. Who could blame them? Temptation is a tough battle to fight. The reality of humanity is we must fight temptation every single moment, of every single day. Now, I am no expert on fighting temptation because I am definitely a weak human being. I know for a fact the fight I can put up against temptation today is far more effective than in my younger days. The game changer has been maturing in my walk with Christ enough to understand the weight of these verses.
These verses are sometimes referred to as “life verses.” This means people use these verses because they are the most impactful in their lives. The verse(s) speak to them more than anything else. Most of us have them, and there is nothing wrong with having certain Scripture having a greater influence on us. The only trouble we run into is if we take the verse out of its context.
We tend to read this verse and miss the promise God has for us. We will read it and jump for joy at the facts we read on the surface. We read no temptation can overtake us, we read God is faithful, we read we are not tempted beyond our ability, and easily the best part, God provides a way of escape.
The problem here is we do not take the right perspective into the first part of these verses which reads, “No temptation has overtaken you…” I do not know about you, but when I read this I immediately get confused. I mentioned earlier how I struggle with temptation so it is hard for me to wrestle with reading how no temptation can overtake me. I can recall some seasons of my life where every single temptation came for me. I would come face-to-face with it, and give into it as a defeated man.
I believe what God wants us to realize is with our own strength and power, temptation will win every time. We are not able to push away our selfish desires relying on our strength. Once we come to terms with how weak we are against temptation we can begin to understand the need of the grace Jesus has for us. The verse mentions we have a way of escape, and that is Jesus. Jesus is how these two verses actually take action in our lives. No temptation can overtake us, when we are choosing Jesus.
When temptation comes our way, we face a very important decision. We can take the fight on ourselves and inevitably fall to the temptation. Or, we make the better choice. In fact, we make the best choice and run to Jesus. Jesus is the only person who has faced temptation and won the battle. To step up His fight against temptation He even decided to fight temptation for the sake of every single human in history.
Jesus decided to die with the weight of every sin upon Him in order to give us a way of escape against the temptation we face. The reason we can endure temptation is because we have Jesus. Our choice to choose Jesus rather than the temptation is how we endure and how we keep from being overtaken.
How have you been trying to overcome temptation with your own strength? What is the result and how do you feel after trying to take on temptation by yourself?
What can it look like to run to Jesus rather than fight temptation by yourself? If we believe Jesus has already overcome all temptation, why do we tend to not choose Him first?
Father, thank you for just being who You are. Thank you for providing Your Son as the escape to temptation. Help me realize to always see the better choice in running to Jesus and not trying to fight out of my own strength. Continue to develop endurance in me, and to always receive more and more of Your grace. In Your Name, amen.
PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.