Saturday, May 3, 2008

Tempted? - There Is A Way Of Escape!

Giving in to eating some sweets is one thing, but yielding to something the Bible calls sin, is quite another matter. However, all temptations start the same way. James tells us, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.”(a)

As members of a fallen human race we all are capable of desiring sinful things and such desires opens the door to temptation. Being tempted is not sin, it’s yielding to it that is sinful. We can’t get away with trying to shift the blame and claim – “The devil made me do it,” or “I just couldn’t help myself.” If we did it, we are responsible, but the good news is, we don’t have to yield!

Hebrews, speaking of Jesus, says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”(b) Jesus is God, and as such it is impossible for Him to sin, but He is also human, therefore sinning was possible (else His temptation would have been meaningless). After fasting for forty days and nights, “the devil came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”(c) He didn’t sin, by not yielding to the temptation.

We may have heard of someone doing some terrible thing, and we thought to ourselves, “I would never do that!” Who knows what would happen, if we were in the same situation, with a similar set of circumstances. Paul warns us, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”(d)

All of us are tempted by something. It may be a spirit of criticism, judging, holding grudges, stretching the truth, etc. It may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Or it may be indulging in immoral fantasy - whatever. Each of us is aware of what we personally are struggling with. At times we may try to ignore or cover up our failures, other times we are griped with guilt and shame.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.(e) What a liberating promise!! Our faithful Father limits the power of the temptations He allows, so we will be able to handle them, by taking the way of escape He shows us. The bottom line really is, we must want to escape the temptation more than yield to it. The choice is ours.

Let’s Pray-
Lord, you have made every provision for us to be victorious over temptation. But at times we foolishly follow our own sinful inclinations and don’t take the way of escape. Please forgive us! Help us to be more like you and say “No!” to sin.
In Your Name, Amen

Footnotes: (a) James 1:14-15, (b) Hebrews 4:15, (c) Matthew 1:1-4, (d) 1 Corinthians 10:12, (e) 1 Corinthians 10:13,

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Anonymous said...

I was searching google for the verse where God tells us that he will show us a way out of temptation. That is how I found this post. Thank you.

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