Strap on your thinking caps, friends. To get God’s truth stamped into our minds and hearts, today we are going to use our imaginations. Ready?
Picture yourself in a room. The walls are covered with posters of whatever it is that tempts you to run away from God’s best.
Maybe it’s that boy who doesn’t follow Christ but still makes your heart race. He’s looking straight at you, inviting you into a relationship that isn’t what’s best for you.
Maybe it’s a different boy. He does love Jesus, and he loves you. You know you’ll be married someday. You’re practically married already in your heart. And you’re tempted to go “just a little further” physically. God’s Spirit inside you quietly urges you to pursue purity instead.
Maybe it’s a celebrity. Her hair and body are perfect. You want to look just like her. You are tempted to make beauty an idol, to obsess over how you look, to do whatever it takes to feel beautiful.
Maybe it’s your parents. They make you really mad sometimes, and you’d like to turn that picture of them into a dartboard. You want to yell and scream. You want to stomp your feet. You want to roll your eyes. You want to do the opposite of “honor your father and mother.”
Maybe it’s someone else who has hurt you. I mean really, really hurt you. Sure, God’s Word calls you to forgive as you’ve been forgiven, but you just can’t do it this time. You choose bitterness instead.
Maybe it’s a picture of your group of friends. They’re all talking about someone else, playing the telephone game with other people’s stories, and you desperately want to join in. You want to share what you know about who said what. It’s just what girls do, right?
There are other posters, too, with images of all kinds of things outside of God’s best:
- sexual sin
- secret addictions
How do you get out of a tempting situation? How do you escape when faced with an opportunity to rebel against God’s best (a.k.a. sin)?
Let’s snap out of the imaginary room and look at a strategy the Bible gives us for having victory over real-life temptations.
Look for the little door.
The apostle Paul wrote about temptation this way: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Let’s break that down.
This is not new.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”
Flip way back in your Bible to Genesis 3, and read about the first temptation. (Don’t worry. I will wait right here.)
Satan tempted Eve with so much more than an apple. He preyed on her insecurities and her pride. Everything that tempts us can be shoved into one of those same two buckets.
Isn’t lust just an answer to our craving to be loved? (That’s insecurity.)
Isn’t anger just an extension of our desire to be right? (That’s pride.)
Isn’t our obsession with beauty a result of our need to be the center of attention? (That’s insecurity + pride.)
Isn’t gossip just another form of one-upmanship? (That’s insecurity + pride again.)
Sure, Satan is crafty (Gen. 3:1), but he isn’t very original. He is still pulling from the same bag of tricks he used to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Isn’t there something comforting about knowing you’re not the only girl to face these temptations?
God Is Faithful!
“God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.”
Victory over temptation is something we can never, ever accomplish on our own.
You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps or pep talk your way into resisting sin. Left to our own devices, we will all choose to rebel against God over and over and over. But this verse doesn’t say, “You are faithful,” or “You can do this,” but rather, “God is faithful.”
It was God’s faithfulness that led Him to pay the price for your sin on the cross. It is God’s faithfulness that gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide. It is God’s faithfulness that helps us say “no” to sin and become more and more like Christ (Titus 2:11–12).
Look for the Little Door
“With the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Head back to that imaginary room. The one where temptations seem to be screaming at you from every wall. It’s pretty close to how things look in real life, don’t ya think?
Think about the temptations you face to sin every day. Now look closer. There is a little door—a way of escape—crafted by God. The door leads to your holiness. God’s Word promises that this escape hatch is available in every temptation. There is always, always, always a way to choose righteousness over sin.
Lord, thank You that even in our temptation to sin, You are faithful. Give us eyes to look for the little door. Amen.
I’d love to hear about the little doors in your world. Tell me about a time when God provided an escape hatch for temptation in the comment section below.