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.
~1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
~1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
~Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)
God promises He will always provide a way out for us when we are faced with temptation. While this is a wonderful promise, don’t assume that it means that God’s plan is to swoop in and rescue you from any temptation you face without any effort on your part. No…God always provides a way out, but we must actively use his escape plan!
James reminds us how to escape temptation. In James 4:7 we read:
James describes a 2-step process and result:
Step 1: Submit to God.
What does submission to God look like? I personally believe that submission happens best before we are ever tempted. We must practice submission to God’s authority in our life every day. Submission is very simply placing God first in everything. Jesus modeled submission to God for us. Scripture often describes Jesus going away to quiet places alone to pray and be with the Father. Jesus also knew the Scriptures, an important weapon in his arsenal against the enemy’s attack. It is just as important for us to spend time with God in prayer as well as in God’s word, reading, meditating and memorizing scripture so we have a solid weapon to use in Step 2.
Step 2: Resist the devil.
Satan knew when to attack Jesus. He did not tempt Jesus when he was in the temple surrounded by his friends, No, he chose a time when Jesus was tired, hungry and alone…when Jesus was most vulnerable. The same is true for us. When we are under stress, when we are tired, sick, hungry…these are the times when Satan attacks.
Satan also chose 3 main areas for his attack: (1) physical needs and desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride. As I think through the temptations in my life, they can all be categorized into one of these 3 areas. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, and while his temptation may not look exactly like mine or yours, He experienced the same type of temptations as us. And each time he combated Satan’s attempts with Scripture. He did not have His Bible with him or a trusty Bible app or Google to look up an appropriate scripture. Rather He knew the scriptures and quickly used the power of God’s Word to combat Satan’s lies.
Friends, when we are tired and hungry and alone and vulnerable, we do not have time to search God’s Word for the truth we need to combat whatever temptation has seized us. That is why it is important that we spend quiet time every day with Jesus, praying and reading His word so we are well-equipped to resist the devil.
Result: The devil will flee.
Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.~Matthew 4:11 (NLT)
When we submit to God and resist the devil, HE WILL FLEE! Satan does not want to waste his time on a child of God who is standing firm in God’s promises and truth. I’m not saying that once you resist Satan, he will never tempt you again. However, I do believe that his attacks against us become less effective the more we stand up to Him and stand firm in God’s truth (our way out)! Each time we use God’s truth to resist temptation, we strengthen our spiritual muscles and become stronger. Not only do we become stronger, but resisting that specific temptation becomes second nature until it is no longer even a temptation for us.
Make no mistake, we DO have an enemy and he IS going to tempt us! But God will ALWAYS provide a way of escape…our job is to prepare ourselves so that we recognize God’s truth in every temptation and use it to escape!
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 very sweet grandson! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, working with numbers, writing, or working with women. In the evenings, she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading. But one of her favorite passions is playing with her grandson and laughing at his bright smile! You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.