“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
God’s plan for turning temptation into triumph is not to “endure” temptation, but to “escape” temptation. That calls for two things:
- Don’t get into a tempting situation. Too many people are like the little boy sitting under the farmer’s apple tree. When the farmer asked him, “Son, are you trying to steal my apples?”, he replied, “No sir, I’m trying not to.” His problem was being under the apple tree in the first place. Martin Luther said, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair.” You can’t keep pornography off the internet, but you can avoid it by obeying God’s Word which says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3).
- If you get into a tempting situation, get out of it quickly. The Bible never says we are to fight temptation, it says we are to flee from it. Paul tells Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). He warns the Corinthians, “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Potiphar’s wife repeatedly tried to seduce Joseph. “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice … and said, ‘Come to bed with me!'” (Genesis 39:6-7, NIV). But Joseph fled, leaving his coat behind.
God does not provide a way of escape before the temptation or after the temptation, but with the temptation. Are you being tempted today? Pray and God will strengthen you. “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Peter 2:9).
Heavenly Father, help me turn to You before and during temptation! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.