Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. – Job 1:6-12
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” – Luke 22:31-32a
If you are old enough (and you are telling your age if your do) you probably remember the comedian Flip Wilson and his famous saying, “The devil may me do it!” It would always be after he did something he shouldn’t and we all would laugh at his attics and then he would say his catchphrase. Though he was joking I think we all in the back of our minds believed that the reason we do things we shouldn’t is because ‘The devil made me do it.’
Well, scriptures teach us a different story. Though Satan may entice us to do things, he cannot unless God allows him to. The two scriptures cited above gives us examples. One is of the man Job who was blessed and considered righteous before God. The other, Peter, was part of Jesus’ inner circle who Jesus was pouring His life into and would later have a profound affect on the world.
One, God allowed for Satan to bring hardship to and the other Jesus said he prayed that his faith would not fail. We know how it turned out for both men in their near future.
But there is one scripture we can rest assure of when it comes to personal temptation that God may allow to come our way. That is 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
God WILL provide a way of escape for you every time. It’s right there. When things are going wrong like they did with Job and he could have cursed God as his wife encouraged him, God WILL provide a way to escape so you can glorify God. When you are confronted as Peter would be about his relationship with Jesus later that night, God Will give you the strength to say the right thing so you can glorify God.
Three things we can take from 1 Corinthians 10:13;
- There is no temptation that will come to you that others have not had to face.
- God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your limit.
- God will provide a way of escape so you can endure. You just have to look for it. Could be nothing more than walking away.
Memorize this verse. The next time you feel Satan pressuring you, don’t say ‘The devil made me do it!’ Just quote this verse and look for the escape route. It will be there.