Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Temptations and Escapes

1 Corinthians 10:13: "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."

Temptations are the common lot of mankind. They take many forms and can come at any time. The faithful are not immune to temptation. But God has given us the hope of knowing that He is faithful and will provide an escape from our temptations. He doesn't promise that the way will be easy or pleasant, and the choice will still be ours as to whether or not we take the escape, but He does give us that option.

When I think of escaping the first thing that comes to mind is that there has to be something that is shackling or holding you in some way that you need to be released from. It is something real and tangible, even if not visible. Our temptations may be as gentle as a flaxen cord or as strong as the walls of a prison. Our escapes may vary as widely as do the temptations.

How do we escape? I think of underground tunnels, secret passages, and ladders being let down through a window or over a wall. To make an escape usually takes effort and can be difficult and even dangerous, but it is also life-saving. In our daily lives an escape may be a scripture or hymn that comes to mind, a memory of how repentance has worked in our life, a feeling of what might happen if we follow through with the temptation, or at times something more miraculous like being forced to leave a situation. It's up to us to recognize what the escape is and to decide to follow God rather than our own carnal desires.

By taking advantage of the escape that God offers we are given additional strength and have hope that the next time we face a particular temptation we will be better prepared to resist it and will be able to more quickly recognize the escape that's being proposed. To be able to bear a temptation doesn't mean that we won't ever be tempted by it again, or that we will somehow gain immunity. But it might mean that as we gain more experience in resisting temptations that the temptation is less strong, less appealing, or that we are less affected by it.

We have to follow the admonition given in verse 12: "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Even if we end up strong enough that a particular temptation is no longer a draw for us, there will be many others to take it's place. We are never strong enough to stand on our own.

We have to turn to God for guidance, help, and strength to continue to want to escape. We have to know His laws and commandments to be aware of the adversary's attempts to chain us to a life of misery and pain, and continue to hold on to the hope that God has promised us peace and joy if we are faithful and just keep trying.

1 comment:

Papa D said...

Excellent thoughts, as always, Patty. Thanks!