The Way of Escape ~ blog

 In Daily Encouragement

The very first verse I memorized as a new Christian in June of 1973 was 1 Corinthians 10:13. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior and someone suggested to me that I should memorize it and so I did.  And for those of us struggling against this powerful and addictive behavior, it is essential for you to memorize it as well.  It says;

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

There is so much great truth in this verse we need to know to help us in our battle.

First – everybody experiences temptation.  I would add that the most common temptation that men experience is sexual temptation.  I believe almost 100% of men around the world have to learn to deal with sexual temptation.  There may be some who do not and some who have learned to overcome it.

So, if you are struggling with sexual temptation you should never ever feel like you are alone or the only one around you who struggles.  Nobody talks about it because of shame which makes it even more difficult to help men who are living in sexual sin in secret.

Second – God is faithful!!!  Plus, we are promised in this verse that He will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you can resist.  I know it does not feel that way and when we are being tempted, we use the lie that it is too strong for us to resist it but that is not true.  We have God’s promise right here that He will not allow that to happen.

How many times have you given in to temptation because you have said to yourself that you cannot say no? The truth is you can say no even though your history tells you that you cannot.  So, are you going to believe what God says is true here in this verse or believe the desires of your flesh which are lying to you?

Third – God promises that He will provide us a way of escape.  Here is the problem.  Those doors of escape are not clearly marked.  Since we have rarely used these escapes, they are not easy for us to find.  What normally happens is that we get set up to sin through stress or pain, the opportunity for sin is available almost anywhere and at any time.  And since we have done this habitually for years, we give in without even looking for the escape.

Why are the exit doors in all public places clearly marked with a big red EXIT sign above them?  Because when something terrible happens people panic, and the exits need to be easy to find.  I think the same thing happens when we are being tempted.  We panic and do not think clearly or rationally.

Add to that the reality that when our flesh becomes aroused it takes only a matter of seconds and our habit of responding to it by giving in to it is deeply ingrained in us.  God promises us that there will be a way of escape.  We need to train ourselves to have a plan and know where our escapes are so that they are easy to find and easy to take.

Think with me for a moment.  Think about what this week will be like for you.  What is on your schedule?  When will the times of stress and temptation happen for you?  When did they happen last week, and will that happen again this week?

For example, is there a time when you are normally feeling strong temptation?  Is it Friday night after unwinding from a stressful week with a couple of drinks or after coming home from a bar spending time with friends?  You get home and you are alone.  So, you have developed a habit of taking out your phone and searching for something sexual to get you aroused.

Now, what do you need to do this week and next weekend to change that scenario?  Perhaps you don’t go out and drink.  Perhaps you leave your phone by the front door and do not use it when you are alone. Can you pre-think where the exit for this temptation can be so that you can easily use it?  Yes … you can if you really want to.

Fourth – we can endure it.  Notice it does not say that just because we use the escape God gives us that it will be gone and never come back.  We all know that is not the case.  However, we are told that we can endure it.  We can stand up under it and the pressure it brings for us to want to act out.

Temptation comes on us like a wave.  It builds gradually and increases.  By having a way of escape … and taking the way of escape then we can endure that round of temptation and can prepare for the next one.

Don’t buy the lie that you do not have a choice.  God promises us that we do.  He promises a way of escape.  And almost always that way of escape will involve you not being alone and isolated but reaching out to a friend or a support team for help.

What is that? You do not have a support team?  You are living in fear and isolated because of your shame?  Time to end that right now because it is your isolation that is keeping you from getting the help you need.

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