I am often amazed at how God works in the lives of some people. They may have been heavily involved in certain sins before their salvation. But the day they got saved God took that sin out of their lives and they had victory over it immediately. When talking with them they say that they are no longer tempted by that old habit. It is amazing to see God’s power in their lives over sin.
However, we know that God does not always work that way. In fact, many of us struggle constantly with besetting sins. It seems like if we could just get victory over that sin then we would never have any problems.
Why doesn’t God work the same way in everyone’s life? When talking to those who do get immediate victory it seems like they think everyone gets the same type of victory “if they are truly saved.” Do they think I am not saved because God didn’t work the same way in my life as He did in theirs? While they would probably say “no” to that question, I have seen some who act as if that is the way they believe. God’s great grace can become a source of pride in their Christian walk.
Certainly not everyone who has had immediate victory over a sin act this way. Many give great praise and honor to God because they know God has worked in a special way in their life.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
—1 Corinthians 10:12, 13
This morning the pastor in church was dealing with 1 Corinthians 10:1-14. He pointed out three great truths that we can draw from verse 13.
First is that temptation is common. Your case is not unique. While we may not all be tempted in the exact same way, we all endure temptation. We must fight the sinful thought of, “God, I know what Your Word says, but my situation is special.” No, we need to simply trust God and obey Him. This great truth helps erase self-pity. God doesn’t hate you. God is not putting you through something you cannot overcome with His help. He is there right beside you.
The second truth is that temptation is controlled. God is faithful. He will be with you through the temptation. He knows what you are going through and His goal is to bring you through it in holiness. The Bible says multiple times to be holy because God is holy. He wants us to become more like Him. He is with us each step of the way to bring out holiness in us. This truth erases our fears. Temptation itself can inspire fear, but we don’t have to be afraid because a faithful God is with us according to this verse.
Finally, temptation is conquerable. By His grace we have the power to overcome the temptation. Not in our own power, but through the power of Christ (Philippians 4:13). He has provided a way of escape. We don’t always see that way of escape. We begin to feel hopeless. However, when we remember a faithful God has promised to provide a way out of the temptation and testing, then this truth erases our doubts.
We should be grateful to God for the way He has worked in our lives. Whether that is an immediate conquering of sin, or a slow process of sanctification we should be thankful. Don’t take pride in the grace God has given you. Nor should you feel defeated if you don’t get that immediate victory. Remember that a faithful God knows everything that is going on in your life today.