Escaping TemptationMarch 27, 2018
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man….
— 1 Corinthians 10:13
Have you ever noticed that the more you focus on a problem, the bigger and more intense it seems to become? In fact, if you don’t get a grip on your emotions in these situations, your mind will try to blow that problem far out of proportion. Even if you’re facing a real crisis, you have the power to get your mind under control with help from the Holy Spirit. However, if you let your emotions have their way, they will play the worst-case scenario over and over in your mind until it finally manifests as a reality in your life.
That’s why it is so important to decide beforehand how you’re going to respond to negative situations! Instead of blowing them out of proportion, you can make the decision before anything bad even happens that you and the Holy Spirit are bigger and stronger than any problem that will ever come your way. The two of you together, armed with the all-powerful name of Jesus, can tackle and overcome anything that ever comes against you! Plus, if you are blessed to have one or two friends who can encourage you in the Word or with agreement in prayer, you have everything to shout about!
The principle is precisely the same when dealing with temptations. All temptations begin as thoughts in the mind. They might appeal to your flesh, but each one of them first takes form in the mind and emotions. In the beginning, those thoughts are manageable, conquerable, and even rejectable. If you’ll just change your focus, get out of the situation, and minimize it in your mind by refusing to focus on it, you can leave that temptation in the dust.
Or if you feel that you’re losing the battle alone, you can open your heart to a faithful friend and ask for help. With the power of the Holy Spirit and a dear friend at your side, every temptation can really be downplayed, minimized, and conquered!
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I like how the apostle Paul taught about this in First Corinthians 10:13. He said, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.…” The word “temptation” is very fierce in the Greek language. It’s the word peirasmos, and it depicts that moment when we feel seized and squeezed by eternal or internal forces that are designed to take us down. But these feelings are momentary and relatively powerless according to Paul. It’s all a masquerade of flesh merely trying to act powerful. Paul described these as being “common to man.”
The phrase “common to man” is a translation of the Greek word anthropinos, which describes things that are normally experienced by human beings and are therefore not exceptional. Rather than blow these temptations out of proportion, Paul downplayed them as being commonplace. Furthermore, he continued by saying that God “…with the temptation will make a way to escape…” (1 Corinthians 10:13). If these temptations were truly overpowering, they would be inescapable. However, Paul clearly stated that we can easily escape them.
The word “escape” is the Greek word ekbasis, which is a compound of the words ek and basis. The word ek simply means out, and the word basis means to step. When these two words are compounded, the new word ekbasis means to step out. In other words, you can walk away from or step out of a temptation just as easily as you walked into one.
It’s all a matter of what you believe.
The devil will always try to convince you that you are a tiny, powerless being with no authority to withstand his lies. If you take his bait, you’ll have a very difficult time walking away from the temptations that assail your mind. Instead, you can choose to think like Paul and say, “These silly temptations are nothing special that human beings haven’t faced many times. There is nothing powerful or special about them, and I will walk away from these emotions.” As you do, you’ll find your stance of authority in Christ has increased in strength, and the mental drama you used to experience from those negative thoughts will become negligible!
Decide beforehand how you’re going to respond to negative thoughts! You have to make the decision to believe that you and the Holy Spirit are bigger and stronger than any problem that will ever come your way. With Jesus on your side, you can look at those temptations and declare, “You do not have authority over me! You are nothing more than a simple human temptation that has affected millions of people through history before me, and there are legions of people who have resisted and defeated you. And today I am being added to the number of those who say NO to you! I refuse to let this temptation become a drama! I am picking up my feet and walking away from your voice. In the name of Jesus, you have no more authority over me!”
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for the truth of Your Word. I allow it to transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Anytime I feel seized and squeezed by eternal or internal forces designed to take me down, help me remember that there is no temptation that is not common to man. With every temptation that presents itself, You also present the way of escape from it.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that I make the decision to leave temptation in the dust. I choose to magnify the Lord and minimize every attempt to lure and appeal to my flesh through temptation in any form. I am not powerless or without authority and strength. I stand strong in the boldness, authority, and strength of God by the power of His Spirit within me. Because I am born of God, I am an overcomer in this life! Knowing that Jesus Christ Himself and countless others have resisted and defeated the very same temptation, I choose to walk away from these silly temptations and the emotions that surround them! The Holy Spirit in me is bigger than any temptation that tries to come against me — I can simply walk away from it!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of a temptation or thought that has tried to habitually keep you down and depressed? What do you think about it now after reading today’s Sparkling Gem? Do you still think this thought or temptation holds power over you, or do you think that you’ve just been hoodwinked by the devil in this respect?
- You’ve said no to many things in the past — what is keeping you from lifting your voice and exercising your authority right now? Is it that you enjoy the sin? Be honest!
- Can you honestly say you’re facing something more insurmountable than the power of God can overcome? Why don’t you dig your heels in the ground, tell the devil to hit the road, throw up your arms, and start rejoicing that this particular temptation has no right to exercise itself over you any longer?