By Brooke Holt
“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:11–13)
My life has been characterized by learning lessons the hard way. Oh, how I long to read and learn from those who have gone before me—yet it seems I have that special personality that must fail before the lesson truly hits home.
Paul exhorts his readers to another way, an easier way. At the beginning of this chapter, he uses the Israelites as an example. In their journey from slavery in Egypt to the promised land, they had experienced the power of the Lord in their escape, the provision of the Lord in the desert, and the word of the Lord through Moses. But they had forsaken the Lord to worship idols. They had become hard-hearted and unfaithful. Though they had experienced the Lord’s mighty works on their behalf, they did not love him or obey him.
Paul warns us not to live as they did. Instead, God calls us to remain humble and dependent on him, to recognize our propensity to sin. Humility before the Lord leads to a healthy dependence on his work in and through us. Paul reminds us that temptations abound in this world. But the Lord will make a way for us to endure and overcome our temptations.
Many Christians act as if they are powerless against earthly temptations. It’s easy for us to come up with excuses for why we do things. And it’s good for us to remember that all our sins are forgiven (Colossians 2:13–14). But we should not forget that Christ has won the victory over sin (Romans 7:24–25). The Lord forgives our sins and empowers us to overcome our fleshly desires. Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). That abundant life is not found in sin but in obedience to the Lord.
Are you living in this abundant life? Are you overcoming the temptations that come your way through the Holy Spirit who lives in you and stands ready to help you escape the bondage of sin? You are no victim; you are a child of the living God. You can overcome by looking to him, asking for help, and standing firm through the power of the Holy Spirit.
May we learn from our mistakes, receive God’s abundant grace, and choose to overcome today!
Do you believe that God will make the way for you to overcome every temptation? How is the Lord calling you to a new humility and dependence on him today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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