Stable Ground (ATP)
1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Amplified Bible talks about temptation. It says God will not let you be tempted more than your ability to resist and he will give you a way out. When I read this I thought it meant God is letting me be tempted by the world, by people, by whatever is tempting. So does this mean that I’m not going to be tempted by anything that I easily can’t resist?
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) says, “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.”
Now with this question I purposely referred back to a standard translation and not the Amplified version. The reason for this is because though the Amplified is a great study tool to help assist us in understanding the Word, it is very wordy and can also be distracting at times.
The word temptation here literally means an experiment, an attempt, a proving, an enticement to sin. I think it’s important to understand this as we get into this because knowing what it means helps us know what it does not. This is an important translation tool for scripture. We understand through study of the Word and a relationship with God that there are different reasons people sin. There of course is temptation that comes at us that we cannot avoid. There are temptation and trials of the flesh, the strength of which can vary depending on the individual and what they are easily tempted by. There are also different reasons for the temptation and trial. Sometimes it is because you are just being tried by the devil, to see what your faith really is, and God may allow it. This is the category that I believe this scripture is referring to. The question comes up then, but why would God allow this?
We have to remember an important truth, although the world operates according to certain parameters which God set up, He is not manipulating and controlling every event. In fact, God’s influence only really happens when people ask Him. Now there is a lot of teaching in that, which would make another great Faith Fix, but we have to stay on subject today.
I want you to look at it this way, if you were hiking and came to a rickety looking bridge which spanned a creek, would you just run out on it? Not if you were smart! You would perhaps step out lightly with one foot, slowly applying pressure. Why? Because the bridge has not yet been proven. Your faith is the same, until it’s proven, it’s shaky at best. God desires that we have the “assurance” of faith. The only way that can be proven is to test it, not for Him but for us. He already has all the faith, so we are the ones in need.
God allows us to be tested, not because He needs to know but because we do. Now the devil is the reason we need to know this faith, because he is the one constantly trying to rob from us. The thing we can have peace in is the fact that God has placed limitations on these trials, that though they can push us to the edge, they cannot push us over! Glory to God!
Now, this leaves the other side of this question that was not asked but I believe we need to know. I said earlier, there are different reasons for trial, and now I’ll present another. The other side of this is self-inflicted trial. This is a different category and one I do not believe is covered under this section. Take for example a person who is addicted to drugs. The idea that, “God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able”, I do not believe still applies. This is not a trial or temptation from an external force trying to test your faith. This is trial that is self-inflicted, brought on by your choice. In these circumstances, the same limitations do not apply because this is an individual decision. This is the person running full speed at the rickety bridge, not even considering whether or not it will hold. People often do this, and only consider God when they are in the midst of falling because the bridge wasn’t tested.
Faith can overcome all things, but faith isn’t for erasing some stupid action, it is preparation and protection ahead of the situation. There are certainly instances in life, where man has transgressed, and it has brought them to the place of no return. Faith, in these times, will not always save them.
There is a lot to how things work and the devil always tries to manipulate us in areas where our knowledge is weak. This is why we need the local church. Christians who are separated in this manner are Christians on unstable ground by themselves, and they wonder where God is when they fall. The truth is God was trying to keep them from falling ahead of time.
To sum up this Faith Fix, yes there are times you will be tempted but the temptation will not be bigger than your faith. God will teach you strength in these times. However, it is up to the individual to study to know right and wrong, and to follow God’s Spirit so that you do not find yourself on uneven ground. Be stable in faith and trust your God! He will always see you through!