The topic of temptation is addressed directly throughout scripture, and appropriately so. We are imperfect beings, prone to failure, each with our own struggles. As much as we might like to believe we are above the draw of sin, it’s just simply not true. Our façade of strength isn’t fooling anyone. Paul even warns about becoming overconfident in this matter.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:12 (AMP): Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation].

We can’t delude ourselves into thinking that we’re immune to temptation. Paul’s point here was that in this overconfidence, we become vulnerable to attack because we have dropped our guard. The devil knows when we’ve fallen into that state of pride and attacks us head on. Ultimately, it is in these moments that we are reminded of how weak we really are. 

But, be encouraged. The moment we acknowledge our weakness and dependence on the Lord is when we truly become strong. This strength is not found in ourselves, but in the Lord.

  • Isaiah 40:28-31 - Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

What an encouragement to know that when we become weak we have a God whose power and strength are everlasting! And we are blessed that He does not hoard this power. It is God’s desire for us to tap into His unending source of strength by engaging in our relationship with Him. Notice it says that those who wait on Him will renew their strength! This means that our strength is renewed when we expect, look for, anticipate, and hope in the Lord God Almighty.

From this point of genuine, God given, and God driven strength we are enabled to recognize temptation for what it is and flee. This is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

  • 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.

We can’t read this scripture and believe that we will be able to overcome all temptations we face in our own strength. Rather, we read this and see that when we face temptation that is too much for us to handle alone, we must run to the Lord for help and strength. When we do He will provide a way out, so we do not give in.

I read this and wonder why we don’t run to Him every time we experience temptation. If we know that He will provide the way out, the strength required to flee and therefore overcome temptation, why would we ever try to endure on our own? I think the answer is because it is hard to set aside our façade of strength. We believe we’re stronger and can resist in our own human strength. But the cold hard truth is that we’re wrong. Oddly enough, rather than hiding from this weakness, Paul tells us to celebrate it.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

I encourage you to come to terms with your weaknesses like Paul did. Acknowledge them, admit them, and lay them at the Lord’s feet.  His power is made perfect in our weakness and we are made strong when we rely on Him.

This Sunday we continue our Master’s Message series by discussing the Beatitudes. This comes from Christ’s first sermon and instructions to His disciples, and there is so much for us to learn from them. I encourage everyone to come and I hope to see you there! There is a work day this Saturday morning for Walk Through Bethlehem to help in the barn and in the back. There is also work to be done in the costume room. Lastly, I highly encourage everyone to join us for the upcoming Bible study by James MacDonald, Lord Change My Attitude. The study is open to everyone, not just couples. It starts on February 12 and promises to be a great study for all of us. 

May God bless the rest of your week as you acknowledge and even celebrate your weakness in order to be made strong through the Lord, God Almighty!
In His Service, 
John McRae