Stay in the kitchen
For reading & meditation: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
"God ' will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but ' will provide the way of escape '" (v.13, NASB)
We turn now to another sphere of life from which many of us might long to be exempted - the area of strong and unrelenting temptation. Most of us, if we are honest, would like to be excused from having to face temptation, but temptation has its uses: it can work in Gods hands to the development of character, and help perfect the image of Christ in our lives. Mark Antony was called "the silver-throated orator of Rome", but he had the fatal flaw of not being able to resist a temptation. That indictment, I'm afraid, applies not just to Mark Antony, or to the ranks of the unconverted, but to many in the Church also. We all face temptation, and unfortunately far too many of us fall beneath its power. The root meaning of the word "temptation" (Greek, peirasmos) is that of testing. The dictionary defines temptation as the act of enticement to do wrong, by promise of pleasure or gain". Charles Swindoll commented: "Temptation motivates you to be bad by promising something good." Isn't that just like the devil? Are you facing a particularly fierce temptation at the moment? Then take heart - you have all the power you need to stand up under the blast. Harry S. Truman, a former President of the United States, is famous for saying: "If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen." But I've not found anyone who was able to stay strong without spending time in the "kitchen". If you can't stand the heat, stay in the kitchen - and in God's strength, learn to handle it."
O Father, show me how to experience continual victory over temptation. And help me, in this area of life also, not to be "a corn of wheat afraid to die" I face the fire in Your strength, knowing that You never allow what You cannot use. Amen.
For further study:
1. When are we tempted?
2. On what basis can we face and use temptation?