“A few years ago,” Stan began, “I was staying at a hotel in Toronto. In the middle of the night the fire alarm went off.”
“That must have been frightening,” I replied. “Did everything turn out okay?”
“It did eventually,” Stan said, “but I learned a very valuable lesson from that experience.”
“What?” I asked.
“When the alarm went off, I quickly got dressed, but I did not know where the exit was. After a bit of panic, I found it and got out safely. But what that taught me is that every time I check into a hotel or motel, I always make sure I know how to find the exit, how to get out if I need to escape.”
“Valuable lesson,” I replied.
“Yes,” Stan said, “and the apostle Paul has laid out in the Bible pretty clearly for me some valuable lessons about escaping from temptation when it comes into my life, which is quite often.”
“Yes,” I responded, “temptation can be a continuing problem. But doesn’t it say somewhere something about that God won’t allow us to be tempted more than we can bear and that God will provide a way to escape?”
“Yes, it is in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.” Stan replied. “And the crucial part for me in dealing with temptation is to have my eyes wide open to see the way of escape that God has provided.”
Continuing, he added, “Then comes the essential next part.”
“What next part?” I asked.
“I must choose to flee and to escape,” Stan replied.
“Knowing God will provide a way to escape does me no good if I don’t open my eyes to see the escape route. Also, seeing the escape route does me no good unless I choose to go that way and choose to follow it until I have escaped the temptation.”
Concluding, Stan said, “God will provide the way. The question is whether I will choose to follow it. And it always is a choice I have to make.”
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:13, 14.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you provide the way out of every situation in which I am tempted to satisfy myself rather than to follow you. I confess that too often I do not take advantage of what you provide in the way of escape. Please forgive me. I ask for all of the continuing help you can provide to help me want to see your way of escape; and having seen the way, to want to follow that escape route to where you intend for me to be, which is closer to you. When I see your escape route and decide to take it, I ask for your help in persevering so that I follow the escape route to the end. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.