Do you ever feel like the temptation is just too strong? The pull outside of you seems greater than the resolve inside of you. Guilt encompasses you because you mess up in the same area time and time again.
I’ve got good news for you. There is a way out.
Correcting a Dangerous Biblical Misinterpretation
God’s words are true. His promises are faithful. Sometimes, we just confuse them.
Many people will say that “God will never put on you more than you can bear.” I respectfully disagree. In fact, I think God has put on me more than I can bear so that I will come to him with it.
The verse that this saying references and halfway quotes is 1 Cor. 10:13 which reads, “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.” The verse has more to do with temptation than trials.
God promised we would never be tempted beyond what we can bear.
God Is Faithful (Even When We Struggle to Be)
How can we never face irresistible temptation? Is it because we are that faithful? Absolutely not! In this verse, the Apostle Paul appeals to God’s faithfulness – not ours.
If we are able to be faithful through temptation, it is because God is faithful to us.
He has promised that every time temptation rears its ugly head, he will provide a path of escape. Isn’t that incredible? There’s a fire escape plan for every flame of temptation.
There isn’t a temptation that comes your way that God isn’t flashing the exit sign at you to show you a way to escape. To meet safety codes, most buildings have to have a fire escape plan posted in every room. It’s a way to direct people in case of an emergency. If you can fight the urge to be frantic, you look at the map on the wall and start moving towards safety.
Like a fire escape plan for a burning building, God has promised that every time the singes of temptation starts nearing your soul, he opens an escape hatch and points you towards safety. As we pray for him not to lead us into temptation (Matt. 6:13), we are assured that he will never tempt us (James 1:13) and that he will always guide us to a safe path away from the temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
Temptation is going to come today, but are you on the look out for the exit plan when it comes?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.