There is, indeed, a very fine line between being humble and willing to accept the good and acceptable will of God and being pushed around by an enemy intent on our destruction. Whereas we cannot tell God what to do, we cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the adversary and made to believe there is no way out of a situation.
God has made this promise to us in 1 Corinthians 10:13:
“There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it .”
God has promised us that there will always be an escape from any temptation. Jesus was tempted in all ways just like ourselves, yet He never sinned. Jesus always looked for God’s escape route rather than dwelling on the situation. Looking for God’s means of escape is NOT running away from the problem. To the contrary, looking for God’s way out is how we run to Him.
Before Jesus started His ministry, He was led out to the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil and fasted for 40 straight days. It is beyond my comprehension how a man could be possibly endure 40 days of both fasting and constant fiery dart thrown by the devil himself. Yet, Hebrews assures us that Jesus never once succumbed to the temptation to sin.
I ask you to take a moment and read Luke 4:3-13 and see how Jesus dealt with what the devil tempted Him with:
“And the devil said unto Him, “If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written : ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
5 And the devil, taking Him up onto a high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto Him, “All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them; for this has been delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it.
7 If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.”
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind Me, Satan! For it is written : ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’”
9 And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple and said unto Him, “If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence.
10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee,’
11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, “It is said , ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’”
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.”
It is essential that we never forget that Jesus’ response to everything the devil said was, “It is written”. Our success in finding God’s escape is always found in our ability and willingness to bring everything back to the Word of God. We must learn what the Word of God says and then be willing to rebuke every temptation with the phrase, “It is written”.
Human nature responds to pressure by freaking out and going into panic mode. Human nature responds to temptation by considering the benefits of yielding. Human nature responds to an attack by the enemy by running away in fear. In each of these cases, we must rise above human nature and stand upon the Word of God and not fall prey to the weakness of our flesh.
God is faithful to always make a way for us to handle pressure, withstand temptation and remain strong in the face of adversity. Our challenge is to see past the situation we are in to what God has said in His Word about it. As we stake our lives upon “It is written”, God can and will honor His Word and provide a way to escape that we may be able to endure whatever is afflicting us.