Remember the Bible Series, #3
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, so that you will be able to endure it.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
Our third memory verse should be easy to cite. Last week's was 1 Corinthians 1:13 — for this one, just add a zero!
I used to be fairly superstitious, I'd say about average. One of my biggest superstitions was the number 13. “Triskaidekaphobia,” meaning fear of the number 13, is a good trivia word. (And it you want to joke “that's easy for you to say,” it's actually true. I've studied Greek and “triskaideca” is Greek for 13!)
But anyway, I had a good solid superstition. If I went to bed and the clock said 12:13, I'd sit on the edge or do something else until the clock changed. If I saw a subway car with the number 13, I'd walk down and get on another one. A fair amount of my behavior would change.
But God sent me a Spirit. I read Exodus 23:19b, “Do no boil a kid in the milk of its mother.” This is a pretty easy verse just to skip over, since it seems like just another weird food taboo from the Law of Moses. But I was moved to investigate, and discovered that this was a Canaanite ritual to ensure fertility. What God is telling the Hebrews in this is to remember, in all respects, that power is His. The Canaanite fertility ritual is both meaningless and ineffective, and plus, it is idolatrous.
And then I realized what the ritual was: it was a superstition. An act that was meaningless in both science and Christianity, ineffective in both the natural and the supernatural realms. God was telling the Hebrews, “Do not indulge superstitions.” And I was cured. I can now sit in seat number F-13 at the theater without a single qualm; my previous superstition was ridiculous, and God provided me with an escape.
I have overcome much greater obstacles with God's help in my life; I don't really want to go into them here, because there really isn't room. But I will point out the second step in the Alcoholic Anonymous program: “[We] came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
There is no temptation so great that somebody else has not faced it. There is no temptation so great that God cannot overcome it. There is no temptation that God will not help you resist it: you just have to ask Him enough, for a spirit sent by God is the most powerful force in the universe.
Lord, let me always remember that you will give me the power to overcome any temptation. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer