No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
“The struggle is real!” Lately, this has become a common saying in my household over the hardship of cleaning dishes to not having a date to the prom. Neither of these issues is a true picture of a struggle, but we all face battles in this world that are real.
Often times our struggles begin with those things that seem innocent enough but are actually disguised as temptations. Most temptation triggers never shout “WARNING – STAY AWAY!” Instead, they say, “That dress will make you look skinny,” “One bite never hurt anyone,” “It’s just a fiction book with some romance,” or "One more glass of wine with the girls.” We all have temptations; they just look different for each person.
The problem with our temptations, if we are not aware of them, is that they can lead us down immoral, destructive, deceitful, and shameful paths. One small decision leads to another and before we know it, there is a fork in the road. Which way are we going to go? Are we headed down the path of destruction or do we take the path that God has created for us? This verse reminds us that when we are tempted (and we all are), God will provide a way out so that we can escape from it. The question is, will we take it?
We have to remind ourselves that there is a battle for our attention, hearts, and minds. Daily we have to ask the Holy Spirit to cover us, to give us ears to hear the warnings and a heart that desires to obey those warnings. We need to spend time with God in prayer and in His Word to remind ourselves of His holiness and righteousness. When we do these things, we are arming ourselves for the battle. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV
The battle of the spirit and flesh is real; temptations are real. The good news is that Christ came to end those battles. Jesus himself understands all of our temptations as He himself was tempted yet never gave in. When we give our hearts to Christ, we don’t have to give in to them either. The struggle is real; but, thankfully, God always gives us a way to stand up under it.
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Action Item: What temptations are leading you down paths of guilt and shame? Are you living in victory or are you living in defeat? Christ can set you free if you just believe in Him.
Dear Father, may the Holy Spirit guard my heart and mind each day, warn me when temptation is calling, and open my eyes to see the door of escape You have provided. Please give me the heart to obey You and You only. Amen.
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