TEXT: 1 Corinthians 10:13:
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be TEMPTED and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [ALWAYS] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing-place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. (AMPLIFIED BIBLE)
“Why Spiders Decorate Their Webs”
Stabillmentum (singular): The word means, “a single zigzag line or combinations of lines or even a spiral whorl in the web’s center.”
But why do spiders decorate their webs? Well, I am certainly not an ARACHNOLOGIST (an expert on spiders), but in my detective investigation, I found that there are multi-purposes for the Spider’s Web and they begin with a single strand:
4. PREY ATTRACTION.
Are you beginning to see where I’m going in the Spider Web analogy of temptation? The WEB of Temptation that lies in front of each one of us: It is often camouflaged; sometimes attractive because of the light being reflected off the “stabillmentum”; even the opposite sex being a distraction of what can’t be seen at the moment of the attraction. Hey, it happened to King David, to Sampson and others in the Bible. The “spider” is always waiting…and waiting…and waiting.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A TRIAL AND TEMPTATION:
A TRIAL is different and can be sent from God in order to deepen your walk with Him or to bring about God’s plan for your life.
A TEMPTATION is never directed by God, for rather its purpose is destructive. It is not a sin itself, for JESUS was tempted in the wilderness.
TEMPTATION can make us stronger if…successfully overcoming it.
Facts About TEMPTATION:
FIRST of all, it’s going to happen!
“AND [Jesus} said to His disciples…”
Hold it right there for a moment. Jesus is addressing ALL of His disciples, His followers…He is talking to BELIEVERS in the 21st Century.
“Temptations (snares, traps set to entice sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come!”
[Verse 2] “It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into a sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [lowly in rank or influence]” (Amplified Bible).
The warning comes to those who become a stumbling block to someone else. Rather than being a stumbling block, we need to seek to build up–restore the one who has stumbled.
“BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin in any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also” (Galatians 6:1 AMP).
TEMPTATION Comes from Within–
I was watching a news segment on the NBC’s TODAY Show last week regarding the idea of legalizing DRUGS and PROSTITUTION in America. America seems to have the mindset, as many other countries in the world, that if you can’t defeat something…LEGALIZE IT!
Temptation comes from within, from the devil, from the worldview that the devil promotes sinful people to accept.
It is never directed by God (James 1:13)–
“Let no one say when he is TEMPTED, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.”
God is never effected by sin and doesn’t make any decisions effected by sin because of His character…WHO HE IS! He is totally pure and Holy!
TEMPTATION is an individual matter–
“But every person is tempted when…” [ Here is where that “spider web” comes into play]. “he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions)” (James 1:14).
Billy Graham has said, “None of us should deliberately place ourselves in a position to be tempted.” Satan will always attack where we are the most vulnerable.
He goes on to say, “But each one of us is TEMPTED when by his own evil desire, is dragged away and enticed…” Was Mr. Graham seeing the same Spider Web as I? Perhaps.
Temptation will always follow the same pattern–
A thought enters the web and we pamper it….it germinates and grows into an evil act…and that’s where the devil has a pattern of attack.
TRUTHS of 1 Corinthians 10:13:
1. Our TEMPTATIONS are not unique.
“For no temptation, has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man…” (v. 13).
2. There is a way to stand up to and over temptation–
“Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God)” (verse 14).
3. GOD KNOWS my limits. He is not unaware of my situation!
John MacArthur tells a story of a friend of his that I think illustrates this point:
A friend of mine told me one time, that he had taken a new job, with a very important company–he was very excited about it. He had only been on the job for a little while. Everyone had left the office one night and on his desk someone had left a HUGE sum of money. He immediately took the money, put it in his briefcase, and thought I am going to have to return this. He wrapped it up the next morning and brought it back and when he came to work he immediately walked into the bosses’ office and put the money down on the desk and said, “Somehow, someone left this money on my desk and I don’t know who it was or who will be missing it, but I wanted to turn it in as fast as I could, so no one would be distressed by its absence.” The boss looked him in the face and said, “I put the money there–it was a TEST–you passed.”
How would you have reacted to the TEMPTATION? If your answer is, “That depends…”, then keep reading this blog-post.
We OVERCOME TEMPTATION by:
Looking for a way to avoid the temptation–
In one sense every TRIAL (or TEST) is also a temptation that affords the opportunity to FAIL!
Alexander Maclaren distinguished being TEMPTED and being TRIED or TESTED like this:
“TEMPTATION says, ‘Do this pleasant thing, do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.’ TRIAL or PROVING says, ‘Do this right and noble thing, do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful’.
AVOIDING THE “WEB” OF TEMPTATION:
An Old Testament example is found in Genesis 39:12. Joseph flees from Potiphar’s wife when she wanted to commit adultery.
1. FLEE FROM THE SITUATION IF POSSIBLE.
Submit Your Thoughts to God (James 4:7; Philippians 4:8):
We should take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5:
“[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”
MOST OF OUR THOUGHTS could be characterized more as captivating us rather than being captivated. I need to watch what my mind is dwelling on. We aren’t so much as seized and we seize the thought.
2. SUBMIT YOUR WILL TO GOD’S.
Most sin is grounded in selfishness.
We must commit ourselves daily to God according to Romans 12:1-2 and by daily confessions Colossians 3:2:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you; Taking your every day, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2 The Message Bible).
“And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3:2 AMP).
BREAK *SEE Part Two for the continuation of the The Differences Between a Trial and Temptation.