Here’s how to find the way of escape in temptation
God has a way of escape for us in every single temptation. But it isn’t written that the temptation ceases …
“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.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The way of escape
In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks about the time of temptation and that God makes a way of escape so we can bear it. How hopeful it is that we have a God who measures each temptation so we can bear it! God has a way of escape for us in every single temptation. The way of escape is to go before the throne of grace and pray for grace in time of need; in other words, before we fall. Then we have God’s promise that we shall receive the grace, which is strength and help at the right time, so we can stand after we have overcome all things. (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 6:13.)
In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it doesn’t say that God gives us a way of escape from temptation so that the temptation ceases; on the contrary, He gives us the way of escape so that we can bear the temptation. He has promised us the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us so we can bear the temptation. It is the same eternal Spirit that strengthened Jesus in the days of His flesh, making it possible for Him to offer Himself to God as a Lamb without blemish. (Hebrews 9:14.)
Such a way of escape makes it possible for us to avoid having to suffer defeat in the time of temptation. However, then we have to choose to suffer in our flesh. By nature, we would rather avoid having to suffer in the flesh, hoping that God would make a way of escape from the temptation and lead us out of tribulation so that it stops. But that is not what is written. In the old covenant Israel thought like that; consequently, they lost their opportunity to enter and conquer the land. When they chose to take a way out of the situation that God had prepared for them, they also chose to give away a great victory over their enemies. What they in fact chose was to wander in the desert around their enemies for forty years.
Go right through your enemies!
What is the way around our enemies? As long as I choose to take a way out of a situation that God has prepared for me, I choose to go around my enemies. Perhaps I remain in a situation, but as long as I choose to entertain negative thoughts about the others, unthankful thoughts, thoughts that judge the others or make demands on them, I choose to walk around my enemies. The truth is that my enemies dwell in my own flesh, and this has nothing to do with the others or my life’s circumstances. A scapegoat, an excuse, appears so that the flesh itself does not have to suffer, and therefore we hear this cry from the flesh: “The others are the problem!” When I, by God’s grace, deny giving my mind over to negative, unthankful, and judging thoughts that make demands on the others, then I see clearly that it is in fact my flesh that is the problem. Then I go right through my enemies into the Promised Land.
Let’s not follow Israel’s example. Let’s rather choose God’s way of escape in times of temptation—the way of escape on which I bear the temptation and receive power to suffer in my flesh so I can be finished with my enemies—finished with sin! (1 Peter. 4:1.) It is obvious that this produces a short, momentary suffering. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18.) But this is precisely when I can cease from sin! This is when I can be finished with my enemies, finished with suffering under their tyranny, instead of walking around and around them year after year without end. Which suffering is greater, do you think? The apostle exhorts us that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22. Yes, through many tribulations, not around many tribulations. Then we enter into the kingdom that is filled with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
May God powerfully strengthen us to choose the way of escape in the time of temptation that goes through tribulations, not around them. God has made this way of escape, a way out of all unrighteousness, unrest, and unhappiness! Blessed is each and every one who makes use of it.
This article was first published with the title “The way of escape in temptation” in BCC’s periodical Hidden Treasures in June 2014.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.