Have you ever been so exasperated that you felt like you could not take anymore? Perhaps you even thought that no one had ever gone through what you were enduring. From a spiritual perspective, maybe you felt as if you were dealing with more temptations than anyone else. Without minimizing the issues of your life, let us notice what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
First of all, let me make sure that we understand that being tempted is not a sin. That is correct, being tempted is not a sin. How can I affirm such? Notice what the writer of Hebrews mentioned about Jesus. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Also, take a look at the writings of James. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:12 -15). Therefore, we must accept that temptations will come. However, we do not have to give into them.
The church at Corinth was no different than us when it came to being tempted. They were given assurance that God would not allow them to be tempted to the point where they could not endure. Now, with that being said, Paul did not teach that “God will not put more on us than we can handle”! Friend, it is not God who is the “tempter”. The “tempter” is the devil (Matt. 4:1-11)! God loves and cares for us! Therefore, God makes sure that there is always “a way to escape”. The challenge for us is to notice and utilize the “way to escape”. Just consider some sins that have been committed in the past. Each of those instances had “a way to escape”. Before David sinned with Bathsheba, “a way to escape” was available. David could have turned his head and not continued to look and lust after Bathsheba. Unfortunately, he did not take the “way to escape”. Also, what about Adam and Eve? Eve could have stopped looking at the forbidden fruit and gone her way. She could have turned a deaf ear to the serpent’s words. Adam could have been a better husband and example by refusing to take the fruit from Eve. Sadly, we know that those things did not happen. “The way to escape” was neglected each time.
Now back to ourselves. How many times have we sinned because we failed to identify and utilize “a way to escape”? Did we tell a lie when the opportunity to tell the truth was given? Did we commit fornication when we could have walked away? Did we steal when we could have stopped envying and coveting? Did we partake of alcohol or drugs when we could have chosen to abstain from such? None of us can blame God for our sins. It is our own fault when we neglect “a way to escape”. In bringing this article to a close, let me mention how grateful we should be. God wants us to succeed. God wants us to be faithful. It never has been, and it never will be, that God wants us to fall. We can endure whatever comes our way. It is our responsibility to find “a way to escape” because God will always make sure that there is one.
~ Corey Barnette