Our hope and prayer for you today is that you have you have been able to stand up under the testing and trials of this week. God is making us better when He allows us to go through some things. This applies to the temptation that we face as well. God does not want us to fall to sinful temptation, but it is part of our human experience. Let’s talk about that…
It is something that all people of all times and all places experience in one way or another. It is as common as breathing, eating and sleeping and as certain as death and taxes. Temptation is certainly a daily factor in our life but it does not have to be a daily failure. In Paul’s first writings to the church at Corinth in chapter 10 verse 13 he writes words of admonition, warning, encouragement and instruction.
“Tempt”ation. The root word has two biblical meanings. One pertains to God’s tests and trials that he allows to build our faith, character and courage. The other meaning goes to the process of our own flesh or the evil forces of the devil that attempt to draw us away into a sinful act which he desires to become a common practice which is designed to end in a habit with the intent of our life ending in calamity and shipwreck. It means to be tricked, fooled, beguiled. Wicked temptation can be helpful to point out weak areas of our life so we may recognize it, repent and rededicate. Only by prayer and biblical preparation of the heart can we “bear it.” Notice in our verse that Paul writes that temptation has “taken you.” that makes us think of someone who has been captured, imprisoned, ensnared, or more vividly, taken hostage. Let me encourage us all that according to Psalm 124 verse 7 the “snare has been broken” by the Lord. II Timothy 2 and 26 lets us know that we may recover ourselves out of the snare of the devil.
Paul also tells us in our text that temptation is “common” to all mankind. Old testament, New Testament, Dark ages, ages of exploration of the planet, even today in 2018 temptation is something that every man, woman, boy and girl has to deal with no matter what. The three main designations are given to us in I John 2:15-16. They are the Lust of the flesh (our inner man), the Lust of the eyes (our outer influences), and the pride of life (our ego). Be very sure that the devil knows your weaknesses and he capitalizes on them. “BUT, God is Faithful!” Yes, He Is!! Just as faithful as He is to forgive (I Jn 1:9), to call (II Thes 5:24), to stablish (II Thes 3:3), to keep His promises (Heb 10:23) to be faithful and true to His word (Rev 21:5), God is faithful in our times of Temptation!
Think about how that in our most common times of unfaithfulness, when we fall to a temptation, God is still faithful. His faithfulness is not to allow the devil to gain permission to tempt us above our spiritual ability to withstand and turn away. In the same moment of temptation the Lord provides “a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Every prisoner sitting in a cell has at one time or another thought of a way to escape his imprisonment. Good News! God has left the keys to the cuffs, He left the cell door unlocked, He has broken down the prison walls (Acts 16). What is your escape plan?
Five ways to create an escape plan.
- Scripture: Psalm 119:11
- Songs: Ephesians 5:19
- Safeguards: Remove Access, Avenues and Accidental opportunities of Temptation. (Eph 4:27)
- Saints: Have accountability for a weakness
- Scram: I Corinthians 10:14, 2 Timothy 2:22 Get Out Of THERE! Don’t Go THERE
Let us not go to sleep on the fact that temptation is around every corner in our life. Have your plan in place so you can finish the race.
P.S. This message will be in our audio preaching podcast very soon.