Temptation

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)

Temptation… Literally to prove by experiment. Interestingly enough, not the appearance of something new which is likely to take you off course, but the return and repeating of things which keep a bent man from walking straight. Our reaction to potential temptations tends to be a very similar reaction to those things which we fear, and probably not without reason. Up come the walls of regulation and defense. If there was ever an excuse to learn to manage better, this suddenly seems like the occasion. Any appearance of surrender now seems doomed to result in a miserable failure. And well it should, IF your surrender at this moment is to anyone or anything but Jesus.

Assuming you make the connection to successfully surrender more and directly to Jesus and manage less, then what would that entail? Are there attributes of what that might look like? The first attribute is that our focus moves toward Jesus. Notice that the temptation may or may not go away. Even at the end of this verse, there is the phrase “bear it”. If our goal is so focused on the temptation such that we want it eradicated to the point that it no longer exists, then God is nothing more than a big hammer that we want to use to flatten the temptation with. Not that it would be entirely bad if it were flattened.

Another attribute that you may see is what you thought that needed shoring up may or may not actually be the item that needs reinforcement. The trouble about making new rules and regulations for ourselves is that we think we have a clear vision in making the fence to keep up away from trouble when the fence is actually needed elsewhere. Temptation is generally a problem in one area because it is a root problem somewhere else first. A focus on Jesus helps reveal the bigger issue. Remember that still small voice that convicts the world of it’s guilt (see John 16:8)? That voice, if ignored, distorts your ability to see things. If Jesus is the light of the world (see John 12:46), then you want to be as near Him as possible so you are not shooting in the dark. Incidentally, this is not a reason to refrain from going out, but a reminder as to who sent you and why you are there. You are not shoring up your kingdom, but a messenger for His.

Did you know one of the best escapes is to recognize that you are now free from those things which bound you before? As tempting as the temptation is, it is never quite the smelling salts that knowing that those strings are no longer attached and have been paid for in full. Why invite those hand cuffs again? God is faithful, trustworthy, sure, and true.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Revelation 19:11 KJV)

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