God's Escape Plan
"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).
Unfortunately, as much as we enjoy the summer season in California, it is also accompanied by the fire season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are several key requirements needed to ensure a safe escape just in case of a fire. One of those obvious requirements is having an escape plan. Thankfully, God has also given us an escape plan when we face the fires of temptation.
Living in the day and age of mass media, temptation seems to be lurking around every corner, if not right before us. In fact Genesis 4:7b puts it this way: “Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” However, God has given us a promise that with each and every temptation we face, God will also give us the opportunity to overcome it.
We must understand that being tempted is not wrong in and of itself and that Jesus Himself was tempted in every way we are. For that reason, Jesus is both able to sympathize with our weaknesses as well as provide help in our times of temptation. The difference between our being tempted compared to Christ is that He never succumbed to any temptation and so He never sinned (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15).
In the gospel accounts, we read about how Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, the tempter advanced toward his intended victim. Satan’s tactics were to twist the Scriptures in order to deceive Jesus, just as he aims to deceive believers and keep unbelievers deceived today (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). Nevertheless, Jesus was able to overcome each temptation with the Word of God as He responded, “it is written” to all three failed attempts of the deceiver. With Jesus as our example, we too can respond to temptation with the Word of God, but in order to do so we must first know what the Bible has to say about how to please God in all areas of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Here are three ways we can equip ourselves to have an escape plan from temptation:
- Meditation – as we read God’s Word, let us slow down and meditate upon the Scriptures rather than speed read through the Bible. Biblical meditation requires that we think reflectively upon the truths of God, letting His thoughts become ours, which should then lead to godly actions (Joshua 1:8).
- Memorization – this is closely tied into meditating upon God’s Word. As we read God’s Word we will begin to increase our understanding of who God is and what He requires from His followers. Taking time to memorize Scripture has many benefits, including not sinning against God (Psalm 119:11).
- Mortification – another way to approach the temptations we face is by not seeking to please our fleshly desires but rather to please God. Sometimes drastic measures are required in order to do so. If we are out to satisfy ourselves then sin is inevitable, but if we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit we will overcome temptation by putting to death our old sin nature (Romans 8:13).
Posted on Mon, August 4, 2014
by Carlo Mendoza