“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.” 1Corinthians 10:12-13
Part of the enemy’s strategy in getting us to give into temptation is seizing us and making us feel there is no choice except to sin. When God asked Adam what he had done the reply was, “The woman You gave me…” Basically, “it wasn’t my fault! It was the woman’s fault; in fact, it was kind of Your fault since You gave me the woman.” Then God asked Eve what she had done and she also shifted the blame: “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”
Our excuses are irrelevant to God and do not lead us into freedom but only into greater bondage. No matter what the circumstances were around our sin, Scripture tells us that God provided a “way out” if we had only looked for it and prayed about it. Proverbs tells us that whoever hides his sin (puts the blame somewhere else) will not prosper, but whoever “confesses and forsakes” it will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13) Own your sin; confess it, confess that you didn’t look or pray for the way out, and then forsake it.
But how much better it is to resist temptation and not fall into sin. God’s main strategy for us to keep from sinning is to flee that which is tempting us. The idea that we can handle being close to sin without falling into it is a deception because we are all weaker than we think we are. In fact, “if you think you are standing firm be careful that you don’t fall!”
Adam and Eve were given a whole garden to enjoy, yet Eve chose to stand right next to the one tree that was forbidden. Not smart. When I was a young believer I had developed a fixation for a certain young woman in our home town. As I was reading Proverbs the warning came, “Don’t look into her eyes.” (Proverbs 6:25) So from then on I made it a point to not look her in the eyes when I was around her, but I would still find myself driving by her house hoping that she was outside. Later I read another Proverb that said, “Don’t even go near her house.” (Proverbs 5:8) I was stunned. God’s strategy was not “get close and try to be strong”, but simply stay far away.
What is the area of your greatest weakness? Why not enjoy the rest of the garden and stay far away from that tree!