Words from the Heart for Saturday July 23rd, 2016
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
A Way Out of Temptation
The first lie of temptation is: “You are all alone.” God tells us that no temptation is unique. It may feel strong and alluring, but it is not unique – others have walked away from this temptation. How does it help you to know that others have faced similar temptations and walked obediently?
In order to qualify for Canadian citizenship, a landed immigrant (permanent resident) must spend the better part of three years in Canada within a four-year period. A small percentage of these individuals is seeking out shortcuts to Canadian citizenship. There are so-called ‘consultants’ who, for a fee of between $4,000 and $6,000 will make it appear as if a permanent resident has been physically present in Canada for three years when in fact, the landed immigrant has been residing outside of Canada’s borders. The consultants provide phoney apartment leases for their clients and even bogus school registrations for their children. They pick up mail, pay bills and do all sorts of things on their clients’ behalf that would give the impression of Canadian residency. Immigration lawyer Andre Cohen advises avoiding this illegal and immoral temptation.
Temptation is not sin. The Bible very clearly teaches that Jesus was tempted in every way we are but was without sin. But sin doesn’t happen unless we allow temptation to become sin, and sin always comes after temptation. Satan never makes temptation look ugly. The book of Hebrews even mentions the pleasures of sin. But the enticement of temptation is a sham covering its true ugliness. How do we overcome temptation, as Jesus did, and not allow it to control us so it becomes sin? Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.” I love this verse because it is so practical. First, we are reminded that no human being is exempt from temptation. The Lord knows this, and he wants us to live above it. So God makes a promise – He won’t let temptation become so strong that we have no choice but to yield. We all know how strong temptation can be and so this can sound like an impossible promise. So God goes on to say that He will provide a way out. When temptation comes, even strong temptation, look for God’s way out. He promises and He cannot fail to keep His promise.
These have been words from the heart.