BY JORDAN MAYER
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
This past weekend, my brothers and I helped move a refrigerator for a friend. We slid the old fridge out, tipped it over, and proceeded to lift and carry it out the door, down the walkway, and into the driveway. For reference, the fridge was a couple hundred pounds and difficult to navigate through the tight doorways. By the time we lowered the unit to the ground, my arms and hands were ready for a rest! As taxing as it was and despite any pain or soreness I experienced, this task was still within my ability to perform and manage.
In life, we face a whole host of temptations that, in the moment, feel too difficult to endure. Like an unbearable weight on our shoulders, we can feel like we have little choice but to give in. It is in these moments of deepest despair and hopelessness that we must return to the truth of God’s Word. For the way we may feel about the temptations we face is neither the truth nor the reality.
We are reminded, encouraged, and promised that whatever temptations we may face are always within our ability to endure. God never allows temptations into our lives that we are not equipped to handle. This is not to say that it won’t be hard, it may be the hardest task we’ve faced. But we have also been equipped for the battle. God has both empowered us for the battle and provided the strategy.
Yet, we should notice that the strategy we are to employ is not one of standing and fighting, but turning and fleeing. God always provides a way of escape; that is how we endure temptation. We see a similar theme in James 4:7 where we are called to resist and flee. But there we find an equally important piece of the puzzle. Enduring temptation is not merely about saying no to sin, but saying yes to God. As we turn away from sin and temptation, we must simultaneously turn toward God. We are to submit ourselves to God and draw near to Him. And as we draw near to Him, He promises to draw near to us.
The battle against temptation has often been described as a tug of war. We feel the pull of temptation toward sin like a tug upon the rope. If you look at the marks in the ground, you may see some ground has been given up and some ground has been won. We are all prone to stumble and give in to sin. But there was one man who felt the full weight of temptation and yet never gave an inch. This man was Jesus, fully God and fully man, who was tempted in every way, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Not only can He sympathize in our hour of need, but He actively intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:34). He provided the perfect sacrifice so that even in our failures, we can still stand justified before God. This is supremely good news!
So when you feel the strong pull of temptation, remind yourself that you are not fighting a losing battle. That is precisely what the enemy and our own sinful flesh wants you to think. Rather, remember that we have been given a winning strategy. Turn and flee temptation, submit and draw near to God. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
BY JORDAN MAYER
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”
1 Corinthians 10:31
No other verse in the Bible has had more of an impact on my life than this one. I “discovered” this verse in college, and ever since then, it continues to challenge and transform the way I live.
It’s always important when reading Scripture that we begin with the context that it was written in, so let's start there. Paul is clearing up some issues with the Corinthians in regards to food and drink offered to idols. To eat or not to eat, to drink or not to drink - that was the question. Or was it?
Paul goes on to give a number of great lessons on idol worship, Christian liberty, and loving your neighbor; but it's what's in the middle of verse 31 that truly struck me. Paul begins with the eating and drinking, but then makes a striking addition. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Really Paul, all things? I'm convinced that when Paul says all things, he means all things!
At the time, classes, homework, exams, and projects dominated my life and frankly, was a total drag at times. But this verse made me realize something extraordinary: that my life has less to do with what I'm doing and far more to do with why. If I can do all things to the glory of God, then it doesn't matter so much what the "what" is, but rather the "why" behind it. In the moment, it empowered me to go to every class, write every note, and take every test with a renewed sense of purpose: the glory of God.
Since then, it has reminded me that every moment of our lives is an opportunity to give Him glory. Not simply the time spent at church, reading His Word, or preaching the Gospel, but every minute of every day. The hills and valleys. The extraordinary and the ordinary. The magnificent and the mundane.
When I wrote the title for this post, although a bit tongue in cheek, it was meant to illustrate a point. When I stumble out of bed at 5AM during the week and take a sip of that sweet nectar from the Arabica bean, can I glorify God in that? Absolutely! I can be thankful for the strength He has provided to get up that morning (Isaiah 40:29). I can be grateful for His creation and the caffeine that gives me the energy to start my day (Psalm 104:24-25). And I can rejoice that today is a new day that has been given to me (Psalm 118:24). It may seem silly, but every situation - both big and small - is an opportunity to thank our Creator and give glory to His name.
So whether you are cleaning the house for the umpteenth time, confined to your bed because of chronic illness, reading a good book, or headed out the door to your 9 to 5; use these moments as opportunities to worship.