“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” — I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
For 2021, our pastor has asked church members to recite their favorite verse or passage of scripture before the service begins. This past Sunday was my opportunity to share mine. This verse from 1 Corinthians has meant a great deal to me since I was 20. I had recently rededicated my life to Christ.
I have always been a Christian. I was brought up in church, but after my father’s death when I was nine, our family slowly drifted away from attending. When I turned 16 and got my license, I started to attend again. Then around 18, I began to go back to the church I grew up in. I quickly became involved with the Youth and then eventually became a Youth Leader.
As a Youth Leader, we were responsible for assisting the Youth Pastor and guiding the teens under us. We were points of contact and were given the opportunity to preach once a quarter. It was an amazing experience. As part of that discipleship, we went through a course called F.I.R.E. Institute. This was an intense eight-week discipleship program developed by David Wilkerson. I say intense, but I believe that word does not do justice to how… intense this program was. I grew so much spiritually going through this course.
Part of F.I.R.E. Institute was scripture memorization. I Corinthians 10:13 was one of my verses. That verse goes beyond the address and content. It changed my life. I was going through so much back then. I was a single father, living on my own, and struggling with who I was as a man of God. Temptations of life surrounded me, heh, they still do. When we came to reading the book of I Corinthians, that verse leaped off the page and attached to me and never let go.
The biggest part of that verse is ‘what is common to man.’ This, to me, means that everyone goes through it. We are not alone in our struggle with sin or temptations.
The second part is ‘beyond what you can bear.’ This speaks of each of our ability to stand under what is thrown upon us. There is no such thing as too much. God is faithful. It is right there in the verse.
The final part that hits me is ‘way of escape.’ There is a way out of every temptation we face. There is no ‘I couldn’t help myself.’ God always provides a way out. We just need to be aware and looking for it. Truth of the matter? We know of it, we just don’t take it.
We Are Not Alone
This verse is such a relief to me. I am not alone. Others face the same difficulty in facing sin that I do. Others are given the same opportunities to stand under the pressures that I am. No one is special; no one is given preferential treatment. It may seem that way, but that is only because it has become easier for some to take the escape. Because they have traveled that road more often. The more we turn and run from sin, the easier it will be to do the next time.
I’m not saying it will always be that easy. The devil will sometimes hit harder. And yes, you sometimes give in, even when you have run away from sin multiple times. Trust me, I know. But what do you do in those instances? You get up, dust yourself off, ask forgiveness, and pick up where you left off.
A Voice from Heaven and a Chord of Three
In closing, keep on keeping on. You got this. We are all faced with sin. It is part of the human condition. But we all have that way of escape. It begins with prayer.
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.” – Isaiah 30:21
If prayer doesn’t seem like it is working, call a fellow believer. Someone you trust who will pray with you. I leave you with a verse from Ecclesiastes that speaks of this.
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12 NKJV