S186P4 – A promise is a promise: the power of temptation

1 Cor. 10:12-13

Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

On his quest to better health and fitness, one thing was his kryptonite.  He had an incredible sweet tooth.  He had been like that since childhood and never grew out of his love for everything sugary.  In order to gain some discipline, he decided that he would shop only in stores where he did not have to be tempted by candy or ice cream or cake.  This served him well for a time, but then real life struck.  Parties and cookouts and picnics were now out of the question, but he certainly could not sustain that and still maintain his friendships.  Then, it struck him like a bolt of lightning.  Avoiding sweets was the right goal, but his tactic was all wrong.  He needed to learn how to be in the presence of dessert and still exercise his willpower to resist.

We often fear temptation because we have experienced so many instances in which it is too strong, and we cave.  We might find ourselves crying out to God to keep that temptation away so that we do not have to endure the eventual fall.  The goal is correct in that we want to keep from sinning.  It is the tactic which is all wrong.  God’s word tells us that He holds back the reins on temptation; He is in control of what we face.  No matter how fierce the battle might seem, God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear.  This means that we always have the chance to prevail and stare down temptation victoriously.  The battles will come, but He always provides an avenue of escape so that we can remain faithful. 

God has not asked us to throw all wisdom out the window.  Only a fool would proudly parade his temptations before himself in a display of willpower and steadfastness.  We are wise to avoid the sins which taunt us.  However, we cannot fear temptation when it rears its ugly head because it will and often.  We have a promise, a guarantee, that God will give us everything we need to extinguish the power of that temptation.  This is not a sometimes but an always.  We only need seek that in the moment and put this promise into regular practice.  Every temptation can be defeated by the grace of God.  Father, thank You for graciously interceding and holding back the tides of temptation so that we can have victory every time.