1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it."
Have you ever battled it out in a game of Tug-of-War? There's an exhilarating feeling that comes from using all your strength and energy to fight back against the pull of the opposing side. Although thrilling when we play the game for fun, we're in a much more challenging and consequential tug-of-war with an invisible enemy every day - temptation.
We're constantly battling with right and wrong, the push and pull of sin and obedience. Too often, though, the pull of temptation feels so good that we drop the rope and leave the game, allowing Satan to add a check in the win column.
In today's reading, Paul says temptation is "common to mankind," meaning it's ordinary and routine in our everyday lives. But Paul also adds that because of God's loving faithfulness, He'll always show up, grab the rope, and provide a way out. But first, we must choose to remain faithful to Him! We must fix our focus on Jesus and remember the blessing of obedience is far better than temporary pleasure.
Choosing obedience is saying, "Yes" to God's best. So, how can you combat temptation with obedience? Apply God's winning strategy: rely on His strength, commit not to quit, and gather a great support team to hold you accountable.
With each victory, we get stronger because we're on the winning team - God's team. So, hold firmly to the rope, and don't let go!
It's time to make that Tug-of-War game plan! Make a list of your biggest temptations, those that affect your walk with Christ. Now, decide what action to take when you feel that familiar pull. Along with leaning on God for strength, consider phoning a trusted friend, removing possible behavioral triggers, or pre-planning to replace a harmful habit with a healthier alternative.
This activity may take a little time, so if not now, carve out a spot in your schedule to do later. It's a great way to address your temptation for success.
Dear God, Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Give me the boldness to seek alternative actions when I start to cave into temptation. I know that You will always provide a way out when I choose to remain obedient to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.