While making a pumpkin pie, I was reminded of different verses. One came to mind that I have not thought about in quite some time. In 1 Corinthians, God clearly tells us through Apostle Paul that:
“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 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 (10:12-13).”
Temptations and Giving in
We often want to say, “God tempted me”. No, He did not. We need to get our facts straight, and know what the Word of God (The Bible) teaches us. The fact of the matter is this: One reason (not all) is we do not stay watchful. We allow ourselves in situations, where (if we thought about it) we would realize that it would bring some sort of temptation.
Then, we know what follows:
We get mad.
We blame either God or the Devil instead of checking ourselves first, and taking responsibility for what we have done.
But, we never take responsibility that we allow ourselves to be tempted beyond what we can bear.
Listen to me on this… We never listen. I am including myself into this one.
How many times have I willfully placed myself in situations where I would face enormous temptations that were too much for me. I knew the risk, but I did it anyway. I did not think about the temptations, consequences, OR how it would affect me spiritually (or even emotionally). I let myself walk down a road and it just kept burdening my spirit–then I gave into the desire–that gave led to sin at many of those times. Did giving into the temptations always lead into sin? Not always, but most of the time it probably did.
Scripture says that “pride comes before the fall”. Pride keeps us from being aware that we may fall into a trap that we set up for ourselves without knowing it. Where I have sinned, I need to ask for God’s forgiveness and His help…because I can’t do it on my own.
The obvious application is food-wise. Have I placed myself in a situation where the temptations were too much for me. Maybe, by going to a food buffet. Or, cooking my absolute favorite food. Another situation: Putting in a disc of my favorite show. Those things inherently, by themselves, are not wrong. But looking back on my history, I could have made some very different choices. I showed no restraint many times. Did I even go into that particular situation with a plan? More than likely, no.
Lately, I freeze food–particularly desserts. Realistically, making a full batch of cookies is just asking for temptation when you know that you are the only who eats it (because you are gluten free or whatever). Safeguards and plans are our friend, as is praying to the Lord and using the Word to help us combat temptation (See Matthew 4). In temptations of all kinds, we need to stay guarded. “Be sober minded and of good judgment.”
Focus, Emotions, and Our Minds
There are of course other temptations:
IE) I can’t speak for the whole world, but our emotions and minds are powerful. We may begin rethinking a scenario we endured or someone we care about who have left our side. We allow ourselves to get worked up…and downward we go. We placed ourselves in that situation (not always), where that becomes our focus and our minds to go (even stay). Even deciding to our minds to go back and rethink to a hurtful experience is a temptation that we probably all face. Maybe, even daily… We can tempt ourselves (and be tempted) in so many different ways. Often, we work against ourselves. I think this is why Paul reminds us to keep our minds fixed on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things (Phil 4:8).”
The question to be asked is:
Do we allow o-u-r-s-e-l-v-e-s (ourselves) to be tempted more than we can bear?
Do we set ‘safeguards’ into place?
Do we have a plan for going into situations of temptations?What Scriptures do you turn to in a specific situation (IE…eating temptations….maybe emotions…relationships….future worries….etc…Where do you go?)?
Is self-control evident in your life?
Self control is the wall that will protect you against temptations especially.
Proverbs says, “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”
Last thought: If you can’t handle the temptation, don’t put yourself in the situation. In 1 Cor. 10, Paul writes: “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive (vs. 23).” There is no shame in staying away from a temptation, because you are looking out for yourself spiritually. Not only spiritually, but mentally, emotionally, physically, and other areas. It is better to avoid a temptation, then to be overtaken and tempted beyond what you can bear. James 1 also sheds light on temptations: Click here for more.