8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nehemiah 9:22-10:39
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
Psalm 34:1-10
Proverbs 21:13

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT): “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.”

Reflections from Scripture:

First Corinthians 10:13 is an often misquoted passage. 

Many times, when life gets tough, some Christians will say something humorous like, “I know that God says He won’t give me more than I can bear. I just wish He wouldn’t trust me so much.” In saying this, they assume that 1 Corinthians 10:13 talks about difficulties in life.

Yet, that’s not at all what the verse is talking about. Words like difficulties, trials, or anything of the sort do not appear in this verse.

The words that do appear are “tempted” and “temptation.” This verse is not addressing the difficulties of life. Instead, it aims to give comfort and hope to the person who is being tempted to sin.

In it, God says that no matter how powerful the temptation and how hopeless it may feel to get out of the temptation without sinning, we are assured that God won’t allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to pass the test. Further, He will always make sure that we aren’t so boxed in by the temptation that we simply must sin. There will always be a way out of the situation in which we can maintain our integrity.

Now, this is easy to write. But, it is quite another in ‘real life.’ But, that’s where a few principles come into play:

  • We must know God’s Word so much that we have a very clear sense of what is right and wrong. This means that we must read and study it every single day.
  • We must reflect (meditate) on Scripture so that we not only know what it says but that it becomes ingrained in our way of thinking and influences how we see everything in and around us.
  • We must have at least one friend who holds us accountable (asks us tough questions and has permission to point out sin in our life when they see it).
  • We must have a holy anger at sin so that we have plenty of motivation to avoid it and choose the high road regardless of the consequences.
  • We must learn how to live under the control of the Holy Spirit so that we can be directed by Him in moments of testing.

Friend, Satan sends temptations your way to defeat you on the field of battle. God sends many of those same circumstances your way to test you and strengthen you. Satan sends temptations to harm you. God sends times of testing for your good. How you respond to those moments determines who will accomplish their purposes. 

May we determine to respond to temptations in such a way that God is always glorified and seen to be the good God that He is.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, You have called me to be holy even as You are holy. One of the many setbacks I will have on my road toward greater degrees of holiness is a multitude of temptations that will come my way. Help me, Lord, to have eyes that quickly identify those temptations because I have been spending much time in Your Word and submitting to Your Holy Spirit. Help me also to develop the eyes to see the way of escape that You have provided. Then, give me the disciple and courage to take that escape hatch. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Milo Bauman on Unsplash