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.
Whatever situation I find myself in, the preceding verse promises me victory. The problem is that at first I didn’t want the victory… I wanted to sin. Then when I tried to resist sin, the temptation was too great, or so I thought, and I gave in. It wasn’t until I thought through the consequences of sin that I decided I wanted victory over it. And I truly had to want victory over sin, more than I wanted the pleasure of sin for a season.
Then, I asked God to show me the way of escape and to give me the wisdom to take it. This puts God in the lead and and me dependent on Him, which is the best place to be. God says to resist the devil and he will flee from you:
James 4:7 – 10 (NKJV)
7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
This is for most sin. One of the surprises I found from reading Dr. Chuck Swindoll, was that concerning sexual sin, God did not want me to stand and fight temptation. No, He wanted me to RUN, to flee, to get out of Dodge. This is what Joseph did when his master’s wife tried to seduce him. He ran.
Genesis 39:11 – 12 (NKJV)
11But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, 12that she [his master’s wife] caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
Joseph had no choice, but for us, many times the way of escape doesn’t have to be that dramatic or at the last minute. When traveling you can ask when you check in to the hotel to have the objectionable TV channels turned off. Also, if you can, don’t travel alone but with a trusted friend. Do a phone check in with your spouse or accountability partner at night. Plan ahead and do whatever it takes to stop sin before it stops you. Jesus said that if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! (Matthew 5:30). Of course this was exaggeration, Jesus doesn’t want you to be without a hand, but what Jesus meant was to deal decisively with sin.
God loves people. God hates sin, not people. God hates sin because it hurts Him and it hurts people. The penalty was death for King David when he committed adultery. But God pardoned him. When a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus to have her stoned Jesus said, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone”.
John 8 (NKVJ)
3Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”11She said, “No one, Lord.”And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”12Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John the Apostle said that if a man claims to have no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him.
1 John 1:8 (NKJV)
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Therefore, we all deal with sin. Those who brought the woman caught in adultery found this out, and so they all left. But by what power are we delivered from sin? The apostle Paul said:
Romans 7:13 – 25 (NKJV)
13Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1 – 11 (NKJV)
1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,£ who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Jesus is the friend of sinners, not so we can continue in sin, but so that Jesus can forgive our sin, cleanse us of sin and give us His righteousness and His Life. Call on Him today, He is waiting to forgive you and give you new life!