“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.” ~1Corinthians 10:13 NIV
We have been given a great promise by our Lord through the Apostle Paul. Let us try to break this down into its component parts and dissect it’s meaning:
1. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.”
Temptations that are common to mankind are the only ones able to overtake us. So, the question being: What temptation(s) are common to mankind? First, let us look back into the book of Genesis:
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” ~Genesis 3:22-24 NKJV
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”” ~Genesis 4:7 NKJV
“…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV
Since the days of our presence in the Garden, our hearts have been steeped in evil thoughts. Jesus spoke on this “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man…” ~Matthew 15:18-20 NKJV
To know good and evil, instead of maintaining our innocence within the love and protection of God and following Him only, we have accepted all sorts of evil into our hearts. We have placed ourselves into harms way with all the potential temptations that could possibly overtake us. AND since we are the species of man, we are so into the ‘please me now’ mentality and as Able spoke to Cain – we are not in the mind of ruling over it. Instead, we are of the mind to give ourselves over to our temptation(s). How about changing your mentality on this matter and take control over your mind, your nature, and your urges? Give yourself wholly and fully to God, claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior! Earnestly pray for His guidance and help.
2. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but do you really think that will happen without some work on your part?? You MUST yield yourself over to God, let the Holy Spirit work and guide you; which means you need to more earnestly pray and more diligently listen! Could God do all these things without you asking? Yes, most certainly He can, but He will not subvert your Free Will because He made you a free moral agent. You need, and have, to want such things for yourself. Please keep in mind that we also have an obligation to “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ~1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV
3. “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
If we are wholly yielded to God, God will create an escape from our temptation. Through prayer, scripture memorization, through our work, keeping our minds busy, etc.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.” ~Prov 6:6-Prov 6:8 NKJV
The ant is a busy little keeper of the house. Constantly busy, constantly working, improving the living area, and through such diligent work is ever prepared for the ills of the world. If their colony is decimated, they do not complain to their government for relief…instead, they work to rebuild. From scratch, if necessary! They work without ceasing, they work together, they do not complain about race, color, or caste system they are part of…they just do what must be done. There must be a good reason that King David spoke of them.
If we will but focus on God, submit ourselves to Jesus, and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance there is no way we cannot achieve anything we set our sights on (with the caveat that what we seek is in the will of God!) There is nothing we cannot overcome…especially temptation! We must be willing to give up the desires of our carnal heart that we will seek out that which is far greater than ourselves…the will of God!
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV
There is a purpose that we were created for, it is my opinion that the above scripture says it all. Jesus came to place things back into the proper perspective through the New Covenant between God and man.
So, what temptation holds you at bay? What is keeping you from your full Godly potential? Turn it over to God, dedicate yourself to Jesus, pray intently and listen for the Holy Spirit to talk to you. It may be a feeling, a scripture in the bible, a book in the bible, something said by a friend or even someone you’ve never met before. It could be most anything and it could be unexpected, but be patient! For it will come.
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD