1 Corinthians 10:11-13
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The people Paul talks about in this chapter were followers of God, but they were not immune to going astray. They fell into sin and bore the consequences of that. And we are people of like passions. We may be Christians, but we are still human, still fallible, still prone to wander. So we can learn these lessons from the past. We can see how others were led astray who thought their faith was strong. We can see how a wrong desire leads to a wrong path. We can see how easy it can be to rebel against God even in the most ideal conditions.
We like to think, “I would never do that,” whatever “that” might be, but often when we have that attitude is when we are more likely to do just that. What is the answer, then? It is that God is faithful. He will help us not to get to those regrettable places. With a pinpoint focus on Him, we are less likely to fall into something that would displease Him. When we are tempted, we have to pull our mind off of the fleshly and look to God and consider what He would have us do. We can ask Him for strength to resist, to lead us to that path of escape.
Paul admonishes us to simply take heed—to be aware, to be humble, to recognize our weaknesses and trust God to help us avoid temptation and sin. It is a dangerous attitude to proudly think something could never happen to us. It is naïve to think that we are incapable of grievous sin. But our safeguard comes not in thinking we will be able to handle a temptation when it comes, but knowing we are weak and we need God to help us in those moments. It’s when we depend on God, not ourselves, that we are able to resist.
It is a fact of life that temptation will come as long as we are living in this sinful world. The enemy seeks to trip us up and cause us to go astray. The pull of our own sin nature within us means that at times we will have wrong desires that may lead to wrong actions. But God never allows us to get to a place where our only option is to sin. We always have a way out, a way to resist, a different choice to make. May we be diligent and on guard, and may we trust in our faithful God who is there to help us and enable us to resist those temptations.