February 26, 2021
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. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
Fascinating verse. God permits us to struggle with temptation—but not beyond our ability to resist. This implies that being tempted is not a sin, but submitting to the temptation is. So what’s the point of being tempted? Like Jesus (who was tempted by Satan when driven into the desert by the Holy Spirit), gaining mastery over temptations prepares us for the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Paul adds that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist, that the Father (through the work of the Holy Spirit) will show us our escape route. Having served in recovery ministries these past 20 years, I have learned that the escape route requires relocating and replacing. We need to relocate our minds and/or bodies to a new environment and replace our obsessions with elements of worship, creativity, and/or serving others. To an addict, this may seem impossible to initiate, but with God’s help all things are possible.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling