S53P2 – A picture of temptation: the promise

1 Cor. 10:13

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.

Looking back now, those were not the most exciting adventures.  For a child, it was a completely different world.  Hiking in the woods always seemed dangerous and thrilling, because I never felt like I knew where I was.  Dad would let us wander off a little.  We would get distracted by the trees or an animal and feel like we had completely lost ourselves in there.  Every now and then it seemed like this would be the time we certainly would not find our way back.  Knowing what I know now, we were never lost.  We were never that deep in the woods.  Dad could always see us and hear us, and he knew that terrain.  He never let us get so far away that his eyes were not on us.  We might have felt lost in those woods, but he was right there showing us the way out.

The imperfection and evil in this world can greatly skew how people view God.  It is simple fact that this place is not perfect, and we will have to deal with tragedy and illness and temptation.  God is no less loving because of this.  In fact, it is during these times that his mercy abounds.  When we are tempted to sin, we are really being tempted to turn from God and walk in a different direction.  Sometimes we get so distracted by the temptation that we forget that our heavenly Father has his eyes on us the entire time.  When it seems like we cannot muster up what we need to win that battle, God is telling us that we always have what we need to prevail.  He makes a way out in every instance.  He never allows us to come against temptation without the power to emerge victorious.

Let us be clear: the temptation is not the sin.  We cannot live without being tempted.  The carrot will be dangled before us many times in this life, and that is common to all humankind.  However, this does not mean that we have no options when those times come upon us.  We have a good God who tells us that there is no need to bow to sin because He can give us the power to overcome it.  No matter how strong the temptation is, God guarantees a way out of it.  The question is whether we can take a moment to recognize this and truly seek that way.  When we are tempted, we must be proactive in moving from sin and toward God.  Father, give us the clarity and the wisdom to earnestly seek your way out whenever temptation comes our way.