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Real Danger, Real Rescue

1 Corinthians 10:11-13
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (NIVUK)

Only foolish believers think that they cannot be tempted, or that they can manage to fight the attraction of Satan's lies in their own strength. God's anger against the sins of Israel in the wilderness is a warning to believers at any time in history, and especially for us who know that Jesus will soon return. He will call us to account for our sins and to reward faithful discipleship.
The first protection against falling into temptation is to know that we are not strong enough. Proud people fall; in their self-confidence they do not see their weakness. When the test comes they are not ready to defy evil. The second protection is to know that no temptation is unique. Satan has a limited repertoire of lies and he will test our devotion to the Lord in much the same way as he tests other people. However, when he finds a weak spot, he will concentrate his attention there.
The third protection is to know that Satan does not have all power; the Lord limits his tests, as He did for Job. God is faithful to His covenant promise to keep those who have been bought with the precious blood of Christ. Our heavenly Father does not want His children despising His grace. The fourth protection is that God provides ways out of the grip of temptation. Each way is unique and specially delivered to the believer, to equip those who trust the Lord. When the barrage of temptation persists for a long time, He gives on-going strength to endure.
Although some treat their faith as a social pleasure or a personal solace, neither will help us withstand temptation. We must appreciate that the gospel of salvation reveals real danger and real rescue: and that we know we are in danger and really want to be rescued. God is faithful to His promises, and wants us to cooperate with Him. Let us humbly accept our weakness, recognising the weak areas where Satan often attacks; but also trust the Lord to help us through so that we do not fail the tests, but overcome and keep on enduring.

Father God. Thank You for loving me so much that You allow me to be tested, in order to grow in my devotion to You. I am sorry when I have fallen into temptation because of my pride, assuming that I could deal with it myself. Please help me to recognise both my weakness and Your strength; and help me to cooperate with You so that I will overcome temptation and grow closer to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams