[Calvary Chapel] 2000-09-14 - A Way of Escape

1 Cor 10:13 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, that you may be able to endure it (NAS)

I have heard people say that nobody understands what they are going through. I don't doubt for a minute that what these people are going through is difficult. But, after 6,000 years of recorded human history, the flesh is still the flesh and the enemy of our souls still uses the same bag of tricks. We walk right into them. But if we see them coming or walk right back out, we can be safe. This is a verse to underline and memorize for those times when you are feeling simply overwhelmed. There a few lessons from this one verse.

  1. There are no new temptations. There are people out there who do know just exactly what you are going through. They have walked that difficult mile. There are examples in the Bible of men and women who have faced temptation and walked away and those who have stumbled and been shown the mercy and grace of God. There are some who are brave enough to share their experiences with you just to let you know that there is hope.

  2. If you do stumble and fall, it is because you gave in. It is pretty simple. God promises that He will limit any temptation that comes your way to something that will not overwhelm you. No matter how you feel, and your feelings can be deceiving in themselves, the old man that is your fleshly nature is to be counted as dead - literally incapacitated.

  3. If we ask, Jesus will show us the way out of our difficulty. God calls us His children. He calls the church His bride. He loves us that much. The groom will always protect his bride and a parent will always protect their children.

If a child in a grocery store is screaming and carrying on, there is a big temptation to give in to the child and give him or her whatever they want to satisfy them and get them to stop misbehaving. But by giving in to the demands of the child, the poor behavior has been reinforced. It is not unlike giving in just this once. It will be even harder to say no to that child the next time without an even bigger fight.

1 Cor 10:14-15 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. (NAS)

This is very reminiscent of Paul's warning to Timothy in 2 Tim 2:22, " … flee youthful lusts … ". In verse 15, Paul is saying, "You are reasonable people! Use your heads!" If you know you have an alcohol problem, then going into a bar is not a good idea. If you know you have a problem with pornography, don't pick up the magazine. Flee! Run and don't look back. If you ask someone who is caught in a sin, most will say, "Yes, I know it's wrong, but …" When the comma becomes a period and the 'but' is removed from the sentence, God is allowed to be in control again. The way of escape becomes visible again. It was always there, but it was not being sought.

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. (NAS)

Lord Jesus - stop us long enough to use the minds you have given us to think. You are always right and righteous. If we acknowledge Your truth, and stop trying to justify what we know is not true, You have promised us peace in our hearts and minds. Help us to do these things. Amen.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com