To the battered, tempest-tossed Christian, a loving God gives this promise:
"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]. " - 1. Corinthians 10:13
No temptation will ever come that God hasn't weighed, measured, and allowed. In every temptation, no matter how difficult it seems, He has provide a way of escape. What an encouraging thought! No matter the circumstances, or how weak we may feel!
However, what is this way of escape? What enables us to escape from temptation?
First what comes to my mind is obvious, tangible things. I think of Joseph when he was being tempted by Potiphar's wife, the way of escape for him was to flee the temptation. To "make no provision for the flesh", and avoid placing ourselves in the way of temptation is one way to look at the way of escape.
But just recently, another thought was impressed on my mind as I was reading the following verse from 2 Peter.
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." - 2 Peter 1:4
What's happening in the last part of this verse? It's speaking of those who have escaped worldly corruption that comes through lust. Our lusts, or desires, are the principle object Satan targets his temptations for. He entices our appetites through food, he entices us through our desires for companionship, pleasure and display.
We read this in James:
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." - James 1:14-15
Now, according to 2 Peter 1:4, what is the way of escape from the corruption that comes through lust?
Read the verse again...
The way of escape is through the "exceeding great and precious promises". It is by standing on the powerful word of God, amid the temptation that enables us to gain the victory!
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he met the tempter with an "It is written". Jesus used scripture as the way of escape in temptation. And how are we to overcome? Just as Christ overcame!
Through the word of God, through those exceeding great and precious promises, we become a partaker of the divine nature. In this mysterious union, God, through the ministration of the Holy Spirit, dwells in our hearts, bringing to our remembrance the promises of God and giving us the strength we need to stand against the temptations.
When we can recite a scripture, relevant to the situation, and trust in the power of God to help us overcome, the power of that temptation will be broken.
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." - Psalms 119:11
So dear reader, I would encourage you to spend more time studying God's word, dig deep into the treasure house of truth. Don't let anything eclipse your love for the Bible, and for Bible study. The word of God will be your safeguard and way of escape in temptations.
- by Emmanuel Higgins