1 Corinthians 10:13 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.
Temptation and sin suck. Let’s just start with that thought today. Nobody likes the feeling they get when convicted of sin. No one I know likes the weight of temptation pressing down on them. Sin has a way about it that makes you feel like dirt. It makes you feel like you are alone – the only one to have ever blown it. Why the feeling of loneliness in the midst of sin? Why the isolation?
Sin separates us from God. In his presence, sin cannot be. Don’t get me wrong, God doesn’t turn His back on us. But sin does make us feel that way. There is nothing more the enemy wants than to make us feel apart from God. Sin has a knack of doing that. I find it interesting that the only time in his life Jesus felt the effects of sin – which was when he took the sins of the world upon himself at the cross – he spoke these words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45) I am certain that God didn’t leave him, but sin made it feel that way. I probably don’t have to convince you of this, you probably know the feeling.
What I love about 1 Corinthians 10:13 is that Paul exposes sin; he brings it into the light. He says that we are all in the same boat. Every temptation that you have walked through is common, he says. The devil doesn’t invent new and creative ways to tempt you. He’s been up to the same old stuff forever. This is good news… in a weird and twisted way. When we feel alone, we get embarrassed. We can’t bear to confess our sin to someone because they won’t possibly be able to relate. The truth is, what you are experiencing is probably pretty common. Armed with that truth, we should be able to bring it into the light and know that we are not alone. Crazy isn’t it to think that your deepest, darkest secret might just be common?
But there’s even better news: God is faithful! He has provided a way out of every temptation. I think that way out can be a variety of things. It can be a prompting of the Holy Spirit to walk away from a situation. It can be a power button on a computer. It can be a friend showing up at just the right time. Regardless of the situation, God always provides an off-ramp from the temptation superhighway. It’s up to us to take the exit. I hope that whatever situation you are walking in today, whether it be an area of life full of sin or and ongoing area of temptation, you will not remain in it. God is bigger than that temptation and His grace covers the sin. Bring it to the light; bring it to Him. Let’s not live life burdened by our own guilt and shame. Instead let’s pursue the way out.