1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I don’t normally listen to rap music. It doesn’t do much for me and I have a problem with calling it music. It’s more like bad poetry set to music. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
But every once in a while you see a gem or two come out of rap. While looking up some information on my computer, I stumbled upon a preacher who was preaching a sermon…well, he was rapping a sermon. He would preach in a typical Southern Black preaching style then he would rap. Then he would go back to preaching and then he would rap some more. He was rapping about different people in the Bible who were caught up in temptation. Then he would rap about modern people and the temptations that we face. He kept saying that there was no difference. Temptation is temptation. Sin is sin. It’s all falling short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23) and it all leads to eternal damnation (Romans 6:23).
And then he hit my favorite verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13: He read it from the New King James and then he wrapped it. He called it the “Temptation Redux”:
You are not the only one being tempted,
There is no one who is exempted;
But God is faithful and true,
And God trusts in you;
He won’t give quiz,
That you can’t whiz;
He has a way out,
For those who don’t doubt;
You just got to stand tall,
He won’t let you fall,
He’s the one you call,
When your against the wall.
I had to smile. What a way to make the scriptures come alive to this generation. What he preached was Biblical and accurate. He did not substitute his word for God’s word. He merely enhanced the message by adding rap music to reach his audience with the truth of Jesus Christ in a way that they could understand. And his message on overcoming temptation really hit home.
We are all tempted…doesn’t matter in what way. There are only two outcomes. Either you overcome the temptation or you succumb under it’s weight.
I keep thinking about a young man with a drinking problem. He has lots of excuses and apologies. He tries and fails.
The first thing that He tells everyone is that he is alone in this. “No one understand me.” That’s the first lie that Satan feeds you. Because God’s word tells us that you are not alone. Everyone deals with temptation and trouble. That’s why their are groups of people, like Alcoholics Anonymous, that are overcoming and have overcome, working to help those who feel lost and alone.
The second thing he says is that God has abandoned him. This is the second lie Satan gives. He want’s us to think that God won’t help. But God has already said that he would be there. One of the tenants of AA is that you seek your “higher power”. You need something bigger than you to get through it. God is definitely bigger than any of our troubles or temptations.
The third thing he says is that the problem is too big for him. That’s good that recognizes that he can’t do it alone but he also uses this as an excuse. He says that what he has is a disease with no cure. But that again is a lie that Satan uses to keep you feeling hopeless. The truth is that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your measure to endure. But you have to start small. Take it a day at a time…or even a moment at a time. Allow God to help you in that moment.
The fourth thing he says is that there is no way out. He has bought Satan’s lie that the situation is totally hopeless…no cure. God’s word says that God will provide a way to escape. The problem is that few of us look for it and even fewer of us are willing to take his way out.
As Jesus told Nicodemus, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Whether your temptation is alcohol, drugs, sex, cursing, lying, overeating, laziness, etc. God has provided a way out. And that way out is in Jesus Christ.
Dear God, You are El Rohi, the watcher. You see my every move. You know me inside and out. And I am naked and exposed in your light. I ask you, Father, for your forgiveness for my excuses and my shallow, circular reasoning. I thank you for guidance. I thank you for trusting me. I thank you for a way out. I thank you for Jesus Christ. It is in his name I pray, Amen.