“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
Defeated. Frustrated. Weak. Thoughts raced through my mind as I once again yielded to a temptation and gave in. The response was wrong. I knew in my mind that I overreacted to the situation, but anger took hold.
I handled the situation poorly, and then I felt guilty for the way I acted. I had to ask for an apology and for forgiveness. I failed again. Why did I not control myself? What is wrong with me? Why I am I so weak?
I know that we have all been there. We feel completely defeated over a temptation in our life that just seems to large to overcome. Gossip, overeating, lust, jealousy, anger, pride, substance abuse, sex, bitterness, idolatry, entitlement, dependence on social media, pornography, constant anxiety/fear, laziness, spiritual neglect. You name it.
We all face temptation. We all give in to our temptations at times, and then we feel horribly guilty. Satan lures us in to believing it is no big deal but as soon as we give in, he becomes the ultimate accuser.
As a believer in Christ, we get a check in our Spirit that tells us we are facing a temptation. Make no mistake, our enemy knows exactly what it takes to tempt us. He tempted Jesus Christ in the wilderness when He was spiritually, physically, and emotionally weak.
He tempted Christ with the very things that would satisfy Him temporarily and Satan presented it in a beautiful package. The problem was that the temporary fix would have led to a disastrous outcome. Christ was able to resist the temptation put before Him, but He was not immune to it.
Make no mistake, hear and know this - being tempted is not a sin. Every single one of us face all variations of temptations and being tempted does not make one weak. In fact, the Scripture in our key verse above tells us that the temptations in our life are no different than what anyone else experiences.
You think that you are the only one who faces this temptation, or your desires are stronger than someone else, or that no one else struggles? That is a lie from the enemy. We may not all talk about our temptations, but we all face them.
Your specific temptation to sin may look different than mine because we are created differently, and Satan knows where to entice us. BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL!
Why would God allow us to be tempted if He was not faithful to give us a way out and go even farther to forgive us when we fail? Is there a specific sin that you struggle with? Most temptations start as good things – desire to please, providing for our family, success in ministry or work, enjoying food, healthy sex within boundaries of marriage, etc.
However, they can quickly go awry if we don’t keep our hearts in check with the Lord. Satan can take a good, healthy thing and quickly turn it into overindulgence, idolatry and sin. He is a master manipulator and he speaks lies. Temptation is universal and common to all (wo)mankind.
God always provides us a way to choose the right path as we seek to follow Him. And when we fail, He will always provide us the wide path to forgiveness. This is not an invitation to sin and know God will forgive us, but to rise above it and learn to overcome that sin that so easily entangles you.
Seek Him in prayer to follow the path of His righteousness. Thank God for sending His Son to face the very temptations you face. Tap into His Power, and accept His mercy, grace, and salvation to overcome temptation to any sin.
Heavenly Father – Thank You for sending Jesus to us to walk on this earth, to live as a human like us, and to intimately know what it means to face overwhelming temptations. Thank You for always providing us a way out and for giving us the ability to seek Your mercy and forgiveness when we fail. Give us the strength and power to know that all temptations of all kind are common to humans, but through Your Spirit You give us the ability to find a way out and seek the path of righteousness. Thank You for being so faithful, and above all for the gift of salvation to overcome any sin in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen