I’ll be preaching on 1st Corinthians 10:1-13 in a couple of weeks (Sunday, November 3rd at North Valley Church). Paul refers the Christians in Corinth to the Book of Exodus, encouraging them to learn from the mistakes made by the Israelites.
I find the final verse in the passage to be extremely helpful. 1st Corinthians 10:13 has three encouraging truths for those facing temptation:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.
-1st Corinthians 10:13
Truth #1: Your temptations are not unique.
I’ve read dozens of emails from people who are struggling with some kind of “secret” sin. They often feel completely alone, which only adds to their sense of shame. It’s agonizing to think you are the only person in your church who doesn’t have his/her act together. The enemy would use this belief to shame you into silent suffering.
You may be struggling with lust, pornography, addiction, a sinful relationship or some other stubborn sin. You are not alone! Paul reminds us that all temptations are “common to mankind.” Take heart–we all struggle with sinful desires of one form or another. Get some accountability in your life and break out of your self-imposed solitary confinement.
Truth #2: God is in control.
The God who controls the universe is also sovereign over your particular situation. You may feel like the allure of sin is just too strong, but God will never allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to make the right decision.
Parents do everything in their power to make sure their children are protected. A loving father would never knowingly allow his child to walk across a busy highway–there’s no way the little boy/girl would safely make it across. How much more will our heavenly Father watch over us and make sure we are not tempted beyond our ability to endure!
Truth #3: There’s always a way out
A skilled architect will design building with several fire exits so residents can get out if there is some kind of emergency. God has done the same thing as far as temptation goes–He always makes sure there is one or more ways to escape. Sinning is never our only option!
But the fire exit only works if you are willing to take it at the first sign of danger. This is especially true of sexual temptation–treat like a hand grenade and run!
Remember these three truths the next time you are facing temptation.
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