Every WEB Begins with a Single Thread – (Part 2 of 2)

WEB of TEMPTATION
WEB of TEMPTATION

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)–

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

WE HAVE TO EXPECT TEMPTATION WILL COME:

“but with temptation…”  (verse 13).

Most of us go out into the world each day ill-prepared for a “spiritual battle”.  Ephesians 6:13-18  informs us that not only are we to get ready, but to stay ready and “put on the full armor of God”.  Yeah, I know, many of you who are reading this series on TRIAL and TEMPTATION are saying,  “I know that verse all to well”, or maybe…”I know what the Bible says about being prepared and being strong against trials and temptations.”  That might be the case, but have you tucked the POWER of Ephesians 6:13-18 so far away, when trials and temptations arise…you forget where it is?   

Think of yourselves as a tube of “spiritual toothpaste”–PRESSURE brings out what’s really on the inside.

A WORD STUDY in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

TEMPTATION:  peirasmos from peiazo = To make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense.

It describes first the idea of putting to the test– then refers to the test or pressures that come in order to discover a person’s nature and the quality of some thing.

Peirasmos implies TROUBLE or something that breaks the pattern of peace, joy, and happiness in someone’s life.

TRIALS rightly faced are harmless, in fact beneficial:

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter TRIALS of any sort or fall into various TEMPTATIONS.  Be assure and understand that the TRIAL and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience”  (James 1:2-3 AMP).

OVERTAKEN:  lumbano = Taken hold of, grasped, seized and in so doing, bringing under one’s control.

In some secular uses, “lumbano” meant to be taken by violence, seized, carried off (as a prize or booty).  It was also used of passions, feelings, etc.–meaning to be seized by a thing– “caught in the webs ‘stabilimenta’ or elaborate web decorations”  [*See Part 1].

Paul uses the perfect tense in verse 13 “overtaken”–

The perfect tense emphasizes that they had not only been solicited by TEMPTATION but seized and overcome and that this temptation “has laid hold of you” (Berkley, Wuest, Amplified).  Using the perfect tense brings us down to the present moment; there has never been “peirasmos me anthropinos.”  In addition to this there is certainty that God will never prove FAITHLESS.

COMMON TO MAN–Such as is human!

Don’t let use of this sentence as an excuse to sin when you are tested–TEMPTED–rationalizing the act in your mind saying, “I’m ONLY human!”  That’s not the application Paul intends.  As one person has written,  “God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.”

J. Vernon McGee writes that…A great many people feel that nobody has ever been tempted as they are tempted.  My friend, no matter what TEMPTATION you experience, there have been others who have had the same kind of temptation.  The encouraging thing is that God will make a way of escape for you.  God is FAITHFUL, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can endure.

We often want to excuse our particular tempting circumstance as “very unique” or a “special exception.”  But God reminds us our temptation is NOT unique…that many other men and women of God faced the same or similar temptation, found the strength in God to overcome the temptation.  Others before you found strength in the Lord to overcome your temptation and worse!

Becoming Victorious in Overcoming–

So you can be victorious in the STRENGTH of JESUS, not in your own strength:

“But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts)”  (Romans 13:14).

“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).    For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do”  (Galatians 5:16-17 AMP).

We FIGHT TEMPTATION with Jesus’ power, like a young girl who explained what she did when Satan came to her with TEMPTATION at the door of her heart:

“I send Jesus to answer the door.  When Satan sees Jesus he says,

“OOPS sorry, I must have the wrong house.”

“BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL” – (verse 13).

Timothy Edwards notes that “God’s faithfulness is shown in not permitting temptation to be too intense or too long in duration.”

Word Study:  FAITHFUL – (pistos from pertho – to persuade or induce one by words to believe, have confidence), is something or someone who’s worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc.

And Paul’s Point…?

God always acts consistently with His character, thus has made a provision adequately to meet the need of those who rely upon His strength and seek to be conformed to His will:

“Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

Let us fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]”  (Hebrews 4:14-16 AMP).

Illustration of God’s Faithfulness:

There was once a young boy whose Dad left him on a downtown corning one morning, telling his son to wait there until he returned in about a half hour.  But the father’s car broke down and he couldn’t get to a phone.  Five hours past before the father managed to get back, worried that his son would be in a state of panic.  But when the father got there the boy was standing in front of the dime store (‘old story’), looking in the window rocking back and forth on his heels.  When the father saw him, he ran up to him, throwing his arms around him, then hugging and kissing him.  The father apologized and said,  “Weren’t you worried?  Did you think I was never coming back?”  The boy looked up and replied,  No Dad, I knew you were coming.  You said you would.”

God Will Not Allow You to be TEMPTED “Beyond What You Are Able” —

In short, NO TRIAL/TEMPTATION is naturally stronger than our spiritual resources.

People sin because they willingly sin.  Notice that God doesn’t promise to deliver us from the trial/temptation but He does promise to LIMIT its intensity so that it does not overwhelm our ability to handle it!

He also promise to provide the way of escape that we might be enabled to bear up under the trial/temptation (Gen. 19:20,21; Psalm 124:7; Jeremiah 29:11; Lk. 16:26; Acts 27:44; Jas. 5:11). 

–Standing On the Promises–

Standing on the promises I cannot fail,

Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call.

Resting in my Savior as my all in all,

Standing on the promises of God.

The words of that old favorite hymn still have an effect on our lives when it comes to being tempted/tested.  Oswald Chambers encourages us writing that…

“PATIENCE has the meaning of testing–a thing drawn out and tested, drawn out to the last strand without breaking, and ending in sheer joy.  The strain on a violin string stretched to the uttermost gives it its strength; and the stronger the strain, the finer is the sound of our life for God, and He never strains more than we are able to bear”  (The Hope of God – The Ministry of the Unnoticed).

4 -TRUTHS to Remember the Next Time You Are ENSNARED:

1.  Others have already gone down the same path.

2.  God can be trusted in your trial and temptation.

3.  God will not allow too great a temptation or test to come into your life, although, it may feel that way.

4.  With every TEMPTATION or TEST, there is the way of escape.

THE WAY OF ESCAPE–

“The Way…” does not lead us to a place where we escape ALL temptation (that’s heaven alone), the way of escaping THE WEB leads us to te place where we are able to bear it.

We are reminded that to be tempted is not sin,  BUT TO ENTERTAIN TEMPTATION OR SURRENDER TO TEMPTATION IS SIN.  When we bear temptation, Satan often condemns us for being tempted (Rev. 12:10; Job 1:9-11; 2:5; Zec. 3:1-2).  But it is that condemnation from Satan the Christian does not need to accept (Eph. 6:13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).  REMEMBER, God provides the armor, but we must completely put it on.

Ephesians 6:13
Ephesians 6:13

I’ve given you a lot to think about in this two-part series on TEMPTATION, TESTING and TRIALS we face daily.  As a Word Detective, let me leave you with this WORD STUDY:

1.  Temptation – Greek Word, PEIRASMOSS – Trials of a varied character.

2.  Escape – Greek Word, ekbasis – Way or escape, the way out of a defile, a mountain pass (a WEB).

3.  Bear (endure) – Greek Word, HUPOPHERO  – To bear up under.

4.  Faithful – Greek Word, PISTOS – To be trusted; reliable.

So if you were to commit this verse to memory, you will be able to resist the grasp; the single stand of the Spider’s WEB and ESCAPE the snare of Satan.

1 Corinthians 10:13:  “No temptation has overtaken you but such as common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it”  (NASB).

REMEMBER, it only takes one thread to ensnare you…then the hold of the WEB.  Avoid the “thread” avoid the SIN!

Every WEB Begins with a Single Thread – (Part 1 of 2)

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)

The WEB of TEMPTATION
TEMPTATION’S WEB

“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:

1.  STABILITY.

2.  VISIBILITY.

3.  CAMOUFLAGE.

4.  PREY ATTRACTION.

5.  MATING.

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!

Luke 17:1-2:

“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:

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.