“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 a
Read this verse over and over. What is the God whispering to you?
This morning God is reminding us that we aren’t the only ones to go through temptations. Our verse comes from the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians. In this part of the letter he is warning us to be careful not to sin. He reminds us that Israel’s history is examples for us. They fell to temptation even though they had all they needed to resist. We are tempted as they were. Don’t let their lessons fall on deaf ears. Learn from them.
Oh, but we have all the excuses. Our temptation is greater than theirs. They had it easy. Don’t fall for that one. There is no excuse for sin. And this is coming from a big sinner. Often our sin makes us feel isolated. We feel like we are alone. That our temptation is greater than all others. That is a lie of the devil. If he can isolate us then we are easy pickings. If he can get us to believe that we can’t resist because our temptation is greater than other people, then we are easy pickings. I know because I have fallen for all those tricks.
Here is reality. If we do something because we don’t think it will harms us, or we think we deserve it, or it is our turn for fun or just fill in the blank with any selfish idea you can think of, you can bet it is sin. Sin is anything done in our will instead of God’s. It is that simple yet that complicated. When we live for self we are lost in sin. When we live for God we are in His will but don’t let your guard down. Our selfishness is always ready to come out. We can do things that we justify for God, but it is really about our control.
The reality is we will fail. We will fall. The key is to stop making excuses. Acknowledge sin and repent of it. Let go of our pride and humble ourselves so that the Holy Spirit can take over helping us to live in God’s grace. We are not alone. God has given us help in the Bible. He has sent His Son to save us. He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us. Just listen. Pray and study. Resist with the help of God. Confess to others. Share each other’s burdens and temptations. Help each other to resist. Learn from people who have gone through what you are going through. Learn from your mistakes and teach others.