Sometimes temptation hits us so strongly and fast that it’s hard to escape falling into it. Is there always a “way of escape” when we are tempted? God’s Word says there is!
So what is the way of escape, and why do we so often miss it or ignore it? I’m sure the Lord provides a variety of escape routes, but I just want to mention one that is nearly always available to us during times of temptation.
I believe the way of escape is the point at which you feel the first twinge of temptation… prior to the second glance, prior to the lingering thought, prior to the further pursuit. It is always easiest to resist in the earlier stages of temptation. As you allow the temptation to linger, it becomes harder to withstand.
If you want to avoid the fear of the roller coaster, it’s easiest to just not get in line. Once in line, there are sometimes “chicken exits” that allow a way of escape but as you progress through the line, you become more committed to going on the ride. The social & peer pressure and the adrenaline rush reach a peak as you approach the one last exit before boarding the coaster. As you pass that last “way of escape” you are now committed. You board the ride and it takes you to wherever it chooses… your choice in the matter has passed.
Similarly, the easiest point to win over temptation is when it first assaults you. If you ignore this early point of escape and progress toward the object of temptation, the social pressure and adrenaline rush will become stronger and the temptation will soon own you. Falling to temptation is always a choice, but the longer you flirt and dabble with the temptation, the greater your chance of falling.
Remember God’s word… “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.”
If we fall into temptation, it’s not God’s fault. God is faithful even when we are not. He pleads with us to flee from temptation and gives us plenty of opportunities to do it!