“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, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Recently a dear brother in the Lord said something as to this effect, “Just show me how I can mature and walk and advance with Christ. That is all I want.” With this thought in mind, I began thinking, if only we would stay in a place of simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. I believe too often we acquire knowledge for the sake of learning more and not for our increasing sanctification, piety and love. It is with this thought in mind that I want to write/blog, so that those younger in the faith would grow to become mature; for the mature to be encouraged and edified; the unconverted to see Jesus Christ for who He is, Lord and Savior – Solid Rock and place of refuge.
This particular post has been a more difficult one to write, not because of the length, but because the Lord has had to deal with me every step of the way. If find it so very true that when Paul said, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” I also find that it is essential that when I encourage or exhort others that I discipline myself. I pray that these few meager words would bring glory to the King and life to the reader.
So, how is it that we can overcome our temptations? Or how about overcoming our lustful thoughts, our selfish motives, our covetous desires, or our prideful way of living? How can it be that the verse above could be true?
Before coming to our ultimate end and “way of escape,” we must first understand something about ourselves and our temptations.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15) ESV
Here is why it is so important that we take every thought captive to obey Christ. It is our own desires that gives way to temptation and lures us into following our own way, an easy way, a comfortable way, a way that entertains the flesh and makes us to feel good, a way that sends us into a life of sin and eventually death if repentance is never reached.
So what is our way of escape? Where are we to look? Where shall we place our minds?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV (NASB, founder – author)
It is Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith is the One to where our eyes are to be fixed. For He is the One Who granted to us faith, brought the faith to fruition and is perfecting it. For He is our faithful high priest.
“For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:16-18
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
It is this Jesus, the One who poured out and Authored perfect grace, that which saves us from our sins in a time we deserved eternal wrath, this Jesus is the One to where our minds need to be shifted upon if we are going to be able to conquer temptation and subsequent sin. For this Jesus is the perfect way of escape that God has provided for us. The Lord in His omniscience knows exactly how to provide even lesser ways of escape during times of temptation. But, unless we refocus our eyes, our ears and our minds to focus upon the Christ, the perfect way of escape, we will seek to accomplish what our hearts desire – to fulfill the lusts of the flesh in any and all regards – thereby sinning. Never trust your heart; for all of our hearts are deceitful. Seek the Author and Perfector of our faith; the One Who knows how to help us when being tempted; the high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. Only He will provide the way of escape from temptations when they come.
Take heed little child, less your next step ends up being the one that sends you plummeting off a mountain.
Author of Realities of a True Christian