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The Way of Escape

 
 
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 (ESV)
 
I sat across the table from a friend who had just confessed her extra-marital affair to me. “My marriage is over,” she said quietly. I sat there wondering about the specifics, but instead of asking, I chose to hold her hand. I decided she needed me to listen.

 
A few months later we sat at the same table, drinking coffee and talking about temptation. “God promises us a way out right? Well, I kept trying to avoid this relationship but I couldn’t. I’m realizing God’s way of escape just felt too hard. It didn’t look like what I thought it should. It think it means something else completely different from what I understand.”
 
I walked out of the restaurant somewhat surprised at my thinking. How does God’s way of escape really look like? What does this mean? It’s coming from God so it can’t be hard, right? He’s the God of grace. Surely, He’ll make it easier.
 
Confession. I think God’s way of escape—especially in the midst of temptation—sometimes feels too hard. For me it just seems easier to do the things I want to do. I know many times, I miss the opportunity to run away and I fall deeper into sin.
 
Think about it. We face the most dangerous temptations because most of them aim at our weakness—our selfishness. Temptation nurtures self-pleasure, pride and the fantasies we most desire. They can also shape our thinking and behavior. They become our gods.
 
And guess what? We won’t want to leave them! That’s the hardest part of our temptations. Walking away from what feeds our pride and selfishness will feel like torture. We will wonder and question because it feels too hard.
 
Yet, God remains faithful.
 
In the midst of fighting temptation we will wonder if God will remain faithful especially when we won’t want to flee from it. Make no mistake, “If we are faithless He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). God will never leave us.
 
And He will continue to work through it all. He will remind us to draw near to Him. We will see His way of escape means believing His promises over what our temptation promises. It means trusting His Word over our own understanding, wants and desires. It’s believing what He has promised us supersedes anything else we want.
 
He will strengthen and guide us through difficult times. Paul assures us if we follow God’s path, we can and will endure. If we feel weighed down with pain and hurt, God may not remove the burden, but He will strengthen us to endure. We will find our strength in Him.
 
And when we fall into sin because it all feels too hard, He remains faithful. God invites us to go straight to the cross where our cancelled sin was paid in full. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
 
So grab His hand, take a deep breath, and listen. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” Make no mistake, we will fall, but it will not define us. Instead, we can take God’s hand, rise up again and press on. 
 
And just like my friend, we will find our rest in God after what seems an endless time of struggle. We will remember that God has a plan for our our lives no matter what we do. God promises we will overcome by His faithfulness, love and grace. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7, NLT).
 
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Raquel Wroten

Raquel Wroten (MAMC, Dallas Theological Seminary) was born in McAllen, Texas but has lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area most of her life. Raised by a single mother, Raquel grew up knowing the meaning of diversity, creativity, and chaos through her four brothers and three sisters. The greatest gift she ever received came from her mother who taught her that living as a believer doesn’t mean perfection, it means grace. Raquel met her husband Rick at a church retreat in Oklahoma on a cold November weekend. They dated for a year and got married in June 1992. A couple of years later, Rick graduated with his ThM, and they welcomed Joshua. . .then Abby. . .and surprise, it’s Anna! Intermixing their cultures, the Wrotens have established a variety of traditions along with interesting combinations of food. Raquel believes that ministry begins at home so she finds new ways of serving those she calls her own. Raquel serves as editor of DTS Magazine and enjoys writing (in English, Spanish and Spanglish), cooking, coffee, education and serving up a feast for her friends and family.