Today I would like to share a discussion that was directed toward Christians who feel that the temptation of same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior is just too strong to overcome or not give into.
1Corinthians 10:13 “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”. (Esv)
As those of us who struggle know, the attraction to another person of the same sex, is great. Just as it is for those who do not have same-sex attraction (opposite attracted) people struggle just like we do. Just as there are biblical standards for same-sex attraction there are biblical standards for opposite sex attraction. Let’s break down the verse that I gave you and take a look at that from a same-sex perspective, dealing with specifically homosexual acts.
We begin with the truth that homosexual acts are not pleasing to God and are something that is part of this fallen world. Acknowledging this is greatly tempting to us and needs to be given to God. Brought to him and put in his control in order to live free of guilt and shame by not participating in these acts.
Is it truly possible that God has enough power to help us overcome? Does God see that temptation any differently than any other temptation? Has he provided what we need or is it really just a matter of, “That’s how I feel so that’s what I should do”.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man”.
This is telling us that temptation is what overtakes us (the temptation to have improper sexual relations). However, we see that the Bible clearly acknowledges that it (sex with the same sex) is not uncommon to man (humanity). It’s been around since the fall! Therefore, it’s not something new that we can perceive in a new way or try to make it something that it’s not. It also says that, “No temptation has overtaken us”. This gives us the thought and the knowledge that we have already been overtaken by temptation and that this is something that is going to happen to us and that it is common for us to be overtaken by many temptations.
“God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability”
Here is our assurance (in the temptation) God’s role in us being tempted.It shows us that God is right there with us during the temptation. Whether we are overcome by it or we stand against it in his strength! Whatever the outcome, God is with us. As it clearly states, “God is faithful” and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t fall into something or that you won’t give into the temptation. It’s clear that God loves us so much that he will faithfully allow you to be tempted so you can learn to overcome that with which you struggle. Soon, you will have success in overcoming with God so that you will know what it feels like, what it produces in you and what it sounds like to have won in a battle. GLORY TO GOD!
God’s faithfulness is far greater than our weakness! Although our weakness is always with us and we’re very quick to acknowledge it, it is clear that we must acknowledge God’s faithfulness too. God’s face is right there with you. He’s meeting you where you’re at in the moment. This is what His faithfulness is all about. That it is true in this Scripture as well as throughout the Bible and throughout our lives.
“But with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape”
As you can see God again is telling us we are going to be tempted. He knows that this is how he tests our faith. This is how he shows us his mighty power, and how we can have joy in our lives and how we can know (without a doubt) that the temptation is in His hands. He’s aware of it and He’s there to help you with it. He says he will provide the way of escape.
“Escape” gives us the sense that the temptation is a trap. Perhaps like being in a jail cell or lost in a fog. Yet, He provides a way of escape. So if it’s a fog, He shines a light at our feet to guide us (ps 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path”). He opens the road for us. He does not set us up so that we must fail or that we would fail. He provides that way so He will be glorified in what you do as you come through. As you escape that sin or temptation you show Him you believe what he says, that you trust Him completely and you are protected by His mighty power. The Bible says, “Where sin abounds grace does much more abound” or as I like to say, “SUPER” abounds! Let’s be serious, grace is far greater than our sin. Jesus death and resurrection is far more powerful than any sin that can ever come to us. As this verse shows us the sin or temptation is simply common to man. So when we’re looking at the sin versus Grace, the sin is common to man and Grace is common to God! Powerful and mighty is our creator. Therefore, no Sin can overcome the power and the Grace of God.
“That you may be able to endure it”
This shows you again that you are going to be tempted. You are going to feel it. You are going to have emotions and feelings. You’re not necessarily going to have them around you in some sort of ethereal way. You are going to know that you’re being tempted!
Your body will respond. Your whole self will sense what is going on as you look at the other person. Suddenly, the desire to have sex with them becomes very powerful and titillated in your body.
Yet, He says that we will be able to endure the way of escape. That we may be able to endure it, tells us that even in the pain of the temptation we can make it! We can handle it! God’s greater gift is His power and His strength and He freely gives that to us. This is much like going through battle or (let’s take it a little easier) maybe it’s working out. You’re trying to lift that weight, it’s too much and you’re not sure you’re going to be able to get through the workout. You do you make it through and you’re in pain. You feel like you’re beaten up but you made it in your glad you did.
This is the way temptation often leaves. It beats us up, knocks us around and makes us feel things that we don’t want to feel. It makes us question ourselves and question God. The idea with this whole verse of Scripture is to let you know that God knows how you feel. God knows that you are going to be tempted. He knows that you’re going to have a hard time with this one! He knows the desire of your heart…”I don’t want to have this temptation!!” Yet you do.
He wants you to know He’s there with you. He wants you to know He’s walking through it with you. He wants you to know He’s given you a way of escape. Interestingly, this verse does not talk about power or strength or anything of those senses. It talks about His faithfulness, the commonness of sin, your ability and finally the way of escape. So at the beginning and the end of the temptation is God! He starts it with you and He ends it for you. He gives you the opportunity to win and show you that you can endure the pains of life, the temptations of life, the temptations of same-sex attraction and the desire to have sex with a person of the same sex.
So, as we spoke and really broke this down, we enjoyed the fact that God’s power is nothing short of great. We also admitted that this is a tough one (Scripture) to listen to and to learn from because it’s easier to fall into the temptation and fail into it and ask forgiveness than it is to understand that God truly has the power to keep us out of it.
God wants you to know that he loves you dearly. He wants you to know that you will be tempted. He wants you to know that He’s allowing the temptation. And he wants you to know the joy of coming through the temptation with His power for in your weakness He is the strongest.
It’s okay to be weak. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to question. Most of all, it’s okay to overcome and trust God. Shout and cheer and tell somebody else you made it through! One day at a time. One moment at a time and as time goes by you will be more and more successful. Before you know it days weeks months have gone by, then years. It’s about relating to God not people. It’s not about trying to take away human touch. This is about building your spiritual life with God as it will go on forever. Paul talks about how the temptations of this world are fleeting and it is greater for him to suffer than to not have relationship with God as God is forever and temptation is temporal.
Dear Christian, this is written for us to share the good news that we really can live free indeed. Free of our temptation and behavior in all areas of our life not just our sexual behavior. Satan wants you to believe that your feelings are not common to you. That they are beyond you and that you can do nothing about them. God created you and clearly God wants you to give Him charge of your life. We must give him charge, thus allowing Him to bless us. May we remember to bring all of our thoughts under control and give them to Jesus. Stand with Him and let Him go to war. Let him do the spiritual battle because that’s where it’s at! F.Y.I…Jesus always wins
Remember to move yourself out-of-the-way, put on the armor of God (Eph 6:10-18) and stand for Him. Allow him to win and you will receive the blessing. God is amazing. He does all the work, does all the battle and then blesses you for what He has done. May God be glorified forever in all things amen!
John, who lived in the lifestyle for 30 years and returned to Christ full force, and Brandon, a 21 year old straight man also in love with the Lord Jesus. A team of two brought together by God to act as one. One gay one straight both in loving relationship with Christ.