There are certain verses in the Bible that just fascinate me. Don’t get me wrong, they are all good; they are all God breathed useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting. But there are some verses that when I read them I just want to ask, “Are you sure God?”
This is one of them:
1 Corinthians 10:13
“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.”
First and foremost God does not tempt us (James 1:13). But He does allow temptation in our lives in order to purify us. First, He measures what you can handle and second, He always provides a way out.
Insert personal application now The other day I had driven over to my mom’s house to hand her some papers she needed. As I was leaving her house, out of the blue she made some backhanded comment. Kind of shocked, I quickly said goodbye and got in the car. I immediately started mulling the comment over. “Why had she said that to me?” “I did not deserve that.” I had just driven to her house as a favor and now I was getting an attitude. Also, what she said wasn’t even fair or correct which made me even more upset. So, upset turned to anger, anger to hot under the collar, and hot under the collar to “I’m going to call her right now and tell her exactly how I feel!”
As I scrambled for my phone with my freehand I realized where I was- on the corner of Imperial and Brea Blvd. Also known as the dead cell zone. Never in my life (or the 5 years that I have lived in La Mirada) have I ever been able to maintain a clear connection in that 4 mile stretch from Brea Blvd to Beach. I was going to have to make a choice: A) I was going to have to sustain my anger until I reached a better cell zone. B) Call anyway and yell extra hard to break through the static. C) And this is when the verse came to me – use this time to calm down and escape the temptation to act out in anger.
Right at the exact moment I needed, God brought His word to me. Pretty cool, right? You think I would feel relieved, right? Not exactly. Yes I was excited that I was putting two and two together but on the other hand if I were to follow through that meant I would have to put down the phone and swallow my righteous indignation. Painful! But I knew I had to; it was too clear to ignore. I had to go forward. Thankfully, I know myself pretty well, so just to be safe I hurled the phone to the back of the car and settled that temptation once and for all.
Later that night my mom called me. She began to tell me what a hard time she had been having finding a job lately. She was feeling overwhelmed having to deal with this issue so late in life and she was frustrated. Before we got off she said if she ever came off short or upset she was sorry.
Can you imagine if I had given into my anger and made that call? I would have hurt my mom’s feelings, created one more frustration for her, and acted like a fool over something that I should have overlooked.
In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says this regarding 1 Corinthians 10:13, “A persons inner nature, what he possesses in the inner, spiritual part of his being, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the true nature of the person being tempted and reveals the possibilities of his nature.”
What God has allowed to be put before you has already been measured and is according to what you are able to overcome. But let’s not even try to pretend here. Resisting a temptation is not for the faint of heart. You need God’s help and to remember what you have been allowed to experience is not more than you can bear and with the temptation He will be faithful to provide a way of escape.