Escape Route

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV*

For some reason, I always think of this verse in terms of temptations to do things: steal, lie, cheat, whatever. When the opportunity presents itself, God will make a way that might involve a literal running away from it.

I’ve been reading Joanna Weaver’s excellent book, Having a Mary Spirit, and in one chapter she shares the example of a woman who couldn’t stop drinking too much with her friends but who believed this verse.

God promised to make a way… but she couldn’t see it. So, smart and desperate as she was, she asked Him to show her. Once she recognized it, she was ready to seize it!

I believe the promise too, and rely on it, but this idea of asking Him to show me the escape route caught my attention. (Guess that makes me less than smart and less aware of my desperation!)

As this realization hit me, so did another: this works for temptations of attitude and self-focus too!

We tend to believe the lie that what happens inside us just “is” and while we may pray for release we think it’s up to God to change us. But as He retrains our minds, we do have a part to play. We have to cooperate, or to use Paul’s words, we have to bear what we can and to stand.

And we have to be patient with ourselves, as God is, when we mess up. We need to get up and go another round… or 20… until the fight is won.

Lately I’ve noticed that when the temptation comes, often so does a verse or part of a song: something to help me keep focus. When I’ve chosen the good thoughts, the bad faded away. I just hadn’t recognized these as escape routes!

Father, this is a big deal for me, because most of my temptations are those inner ones. Thank You for the promise of a way out. You know our weakness, and You are faithful to help us. I believe You want to strengthen us as we learn to rely on You. Help me do that. Help me recognize the mental temptations that come, and help me see—and take—the way out!

Stay Strong” from the newsboys is a great reminder to stay on track.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Escape Route

  1. Ginny Jaques

    I so identify with this. My temptations are internal too, and when I sin, it’s not so obvious to outsiders. So I can end up looking pretty good. That’s the worst trap of all, I think. No, wait. All traps are bad. But I’ll look for the escape hatch with you.

    Reply
  2. Margaret

    Janet,

    How very dearly God loves His children!….. And, we will be children all through this life….. God’s goodness in training us this way to depend on Him for our every need in every temptation is beyond awesome……

    God is so wise in showing us the way, and yet, making us choose what we will do….. It’s a part of the growing pains of growing in Christ….. We would much rather not have to choose because we are so inclined to love our sins….. I should say, “I would much rather not have to choose because I am so inclined to love my sins.”….. Sigh!

    Choosing God’s way does lead to peace and happiness. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Margaret

    Reply
    1. janetsketchley

      I think the choices are like spiritual exercises. If we regularly choose God’s way, we get stronger. Does that make choosing wrongly on a regular basis equate to lying on the couch eating potato chips? It’s definitely taking the path of least resistance, and resistance training builds strength. Let’s press on!

      Reply
  3. Lyn

    Our group is sharing Beth Moore’s Bible study on Daniel. One example she gives fits well with this topic. We were in Daniel 5 where Belshazzar brings the Holy
    Vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem to use in a unholy manner. She points out that we are also Holy Vessels dedicated to God. Satan tries to convince us to use these vessels (our bodies) in an unholy manner. Nothing gives him more joy than to defame things valued by God.

    Reply

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