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The way out

1 Corinthians 10:13

"13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it]."

        This verse has been misquoted abundantly! People usually says something like: “God will not give you more than you can handle” This is an extreme convoluting of the above verse. First of all, God always gives us more than we can handle because the truth is, we can’t handle anything on our own. {John 15:5}. People contort this verse by saying what I have quoted because they are confused in their minds, but their hearts are attempting  to speak the truth. In other words, they in their hearts recognize God as a good God, a loving Father and as such He would not “allow” anything bad to happen to His children. However they do not understand the authority that God has given man over the happenings of this earth realm. We will not discuss this at this time. Rather, we will dig a bit deeper into the study verse. 

    Take a moment and think about what was said, God will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to endure. But God is faithful, with every temptation, He provides a door, a way of escape that I might be able to endure. This is good news, but it doesn’t appear to be if you approach it with the natural mind. God will not allow anyone to be tempted beyond what they are able to endure, so if we use the understanding that Jesus gave us- we can do nothing on our own- then we see that we are not “able to endure” anything. We do however, face temptation. The reason that we face temptation is precisely because God has provided a way of escape out of that temptation. Let me explain it another way. I have preached in the prisons for years now and a common theme among inmates who have become disciples of Jesus Christ is that they all experience extreme freedom from their old sin as soon as they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. I do not mean that they experience it in an esoteric sense as in their mind knows they have been forgiven. What I mean is that they do know that they have been forgiven but they actually “feel” freedom. They “feel” lighter and like the person that they “used to be” not only doesn’t exist anymore but they themselves cannot understand how they could have ever even been that person. This especially happens in jails as opposed prisons. After a while, the person will notice that they have not even been “tempted “to behave in the same way that got them into trouble in the first place. This is very exciting but must be understood. The reason they are not being tempted in that area is because they are not able to endure it if they would be. That is, if they were tempted to do what they used to at this stage, then they would fall prey to doing it again.

    So then after some time, this person will find themselves tempted again in this area. If they are not careful, they will assume that this temptation somehow represents a failure on their part to do the right things. This could not be farther from the truth!! Here is the truth- the fact that this person is facing this temptation to behave in a way that they have behaved in the past is a specific and clear indication that they are able to endure the temptation. THE most important change, however, is that this time, the person has got to understand that if they find themselves in this situation, they can rest assured that God has provided a door away from the temptation and therefore they must be vigilant to locate and utilize the door. 

    This understanding runs directly opposite what mainstream Christianity would have us believe. The common notion is that when we are tempted, we must close our eyes, grit our teeth and “hold on to God’s unchanging hand” until the temptation subsides. This is wholly inaccurate. God wants a real solution, not some kind of emotional determination with no actual escape! This can be proven by looking at the life or our Lord Jesus. In John 6:15, the people whom Jesus fed wanted to “make Him king.” This was a great temptation for Jesus because it is something that would manifest in the Father’s timing. Jesus was tempted to “take them up on their offer” and just bypass the cross. However, because Jesus  was so submitted to the will of the Father, He departed and went to the Mount of Olives alone. He didn’t just sit there and try to talk the people out of their desires while at the same time trying to control His emotions. No, He physically removed Himself from the situation and thus utilized the door out of the temptation. He did the exact same thing in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was tempted not to go to the cross. He chose the door provided by the Father by saying "Not my will but yours be done.” 

So the end of the matter is this, when you are tempted instead of looking at it as a failure, look at it as a positive- you are well able to endure because you know that God has provided a way of escape that you can look for and get out!!!

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