We actually looked at this passage yesterday but I want to revisit it. Paul was speaking to his readers about their “freedoms.” They were dragging grace down to a whole new level. Today though, I want to focus on something else Paul said that really struck me. I started to write about it yesterday but got turned onto another track. I really felt like I should come back and touch on it today instead of pressing on.
The issue I want to address is temptation. “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” (verse 13).
God has promised us that there will be temptations that we will face. But He also promised us that He would not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to withstand AND that He would provide a way out. The Corinthians were experiencing and succumbing to serious temptations. They were excusing their behavior and calling it “freedom.” God was calling it sin and that is why Paul was addressing it.
Have you ever heard the statement, “The devil made me do it?” How about, “I can’t help it?” Those two phrases are famous excuses for doing something that we KNOW is wrong. We CAN help it and no one but you made you do it. We ARE going to fail to resist temptation at times but that is our own doing. God gave us the ability to resist temptation through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. But we have to choose each and every time to accept His help.
God made a way out of every temptation for us but we have to choose to walk that way. He won’t force us and He won’t strike us dead for not choosing His way. What He will do is celebrate with us when we choose the right path and call to us when we choose the wrong one. He won’t walk down that wrong path with you but He will continually call to you until YOU choose to turn around and come back.
Just like the prodigal son, we have a Father watching and waiting for us to get up out of the pig pen and come home. Our return journey is not nearly as long as the one that repentant young man took. Ours can happen in an instant. When we recognize that we are undone and fall to our knees in repentance He is right there to forgive us.
God will also walk us back out of the valley we have fallen into. All He asks is that you truly are ready to change. Simply asking for forgiveness and continuing in the same sin pattern doesn’t cut it. If you aren’t ready to give up your sin He can’t forgive you. He wants to but He can’t. That brings us right back to our mud puddle from last night.
Father God please forgive me for not choosing Your way out of temptation. It’s not always easy to resist because my flesh REALLY wants whatever it is. Paul’s words to the Romans never fit more appropriately; “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do” (Rom. 7:15). Thank You Lord that Your mercy is there for me when my decision to turn doesn’t come immediately. And thank You that Your grace is there when I do return. I’m sorry for making You wait for me so many times. I’m sorry for hurting You. Lord Jesus, do You still feel the nails? I’m so sorry for hurting You. Please help me stop!