1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV84)
13 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.
Where are you most likely to fail? When are you most likely to succeed? How can you create the best conditions for your success?
Temptation is an everyday occurrence. I’m not just talking about food as it relates to a fast, but those nagging impulses to eat will be with you for at least the first 72 hours. No, I’m talking about temptation in life. Everyone experiences temptation, even Jesus did. The truth is, though, temptation is not sin. Sin is sin, but temptation to sin is not sin. During this journey aligning your heart, mind, and body will keep you free from things which will derail your progress. This passage tells me, God has already provided a way out, so I can be victorious in every situation.
Jeremy and I were in Kansas on our road trip. The bikes were running great, we were feeling fresh from a good night’s sleep, and the sun was shining. Off in the distance though, I saw some clouds and we were headed right for them. We pulled off at a little gas station and put on our rain gear. Back on the road I just finished telling Jeremy, “We are geared up for the rain, so unless you see lightning, we are going to ride through it.” No sooner had the words left my mouth when a huge bolt of lightning flashed from the east to the west, covering the sky. To say I was speechless was an understatement. A torrential downpour ensued and soon the roads were covered and more than an inch of water was gathering in places on the roadway. I glanced to my right and there was an old abandoned flea market building. I did a double take…yes, it was abandoned, yes, it had an overhang, yes, it was wide enough to ride two motorcycles under! We were safe! We spent the next 45 minutes sitting under a tin roof, enjoying the sound and light show, safe and dry!
When you have created the best possible conditions for your own success, there will be a challenge, circumstance, or problem you didn’t plan for. It will catch you off guard or by surprise. You might be tempted to doubt, give up, or panic. Paul says, with every temptation there is a corresponding way out. Your circumstances may seem like there is no other option than to sin…God’s word says, there is always a way not to. As you progress on your journey, you will encounter things you have never faced before. The off-ramps, which God provides for our safety and victory if we will learn to look for them, are just as common as temptations. Someone once said, “the best use of self-control is never to put yourself in a place where you need to use it.”
- Plan an escape plan to overcome temptations which normally cause a struggle. What people, places, or things create the wrong conditions for you? What can you do differently to stay free from the trap?
- Write down the things which make you feel weak and less than the person God says you are. Now write down some scriptures which can strengthen you and make you an overcomer.