Utter Dependence

Posted on May 12 , 2014 in Grace & Life Lessons

Utter Dependence

© By Brad L Hodges

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

c. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.

d. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.

e. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.

There is some understandable confusion and misinterpretation about what God tells us in the above verses. The most common delusion is that God is saying he will never give us more than we can take or handle. That is not what he is saying at all. He is saying that we will never be tempted beyond what we can bear. There is a big difference.

Of the 127 different definitions for take in dictionary.com, number 23, a verb definition of take says;

23. to endure or submit to with equanimity or without an appreciable weakening of one’s resistance: to take a joke; unable to take punishment.

Dictionary.com on the other hand defines tempt as follows:

1. to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
2. to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite: The offer tempts me.
3. to render strongly disposed to do something: The book tempted me to read more on the subject.
4. to put (someone) to the test in a venturesome way; provoke: to tempt one’s fate.
5. Obsolete. to try or test.

As you can also see in the Biblical description of temptation, the Greek definition can also mean testing and tested.

It makes sense that God does not want us to be tempted by the sins of the world and will assist and enable us to battle them. It also follows that God will allow us to be tested, if we use the Greek definition, because being tested makes us stronger in our faith as James 1:2-4 tells us;

James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The most significant confluence of this discussion however, is that while temptation is common, God will sometimes direct us specifically to the much more uncommon state of being given more than we can take or handle in life because it is then and only then that we will utterly depend on Him.

You see we may not necessarily depend on God through temptation or trial because self easily inserts itself into those situations. In fact self often revels in temptation and sin and refuses to extract from it. Because of the free will God gave us we may choose not to depart from temptations such as sex, drinking, drugs or dishonesty and deception to get ahead in our jobs.

Also all bets are off anyway when it comes to God not allowing humans to be tempted beyond what they can bear or giving them a way out if they are an unbeliever. The disclaimer to that is the only way out at that point is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior then dealing with temptation will take care of itself in Christ.

But even believers will insert self into temptation if they are not abiding in Christ and stepping in His Grace. Self is a very powerful factor because our natural broken humanity centers on self until we accept Christ and submit, using free will in reverse, to Him, making Jesus the center of our life.

Of course temptation and testing may lead to finding oneself in a situation where they have more than they can handle or take on their plate of life.

If we are abiding in Christ and stepping in his grace we can easily avoid temptations, as living in that state is our way out.

However reverting to self and giving in to temptation puts us in great peril and often, as stated above, we are in over our heads to the point of utter despair, hopelessness, brokenness and vulnerability.

Stumbling from grace and fleeting Christ, if that is a path we choose, puts us exactly where God wants us sometimes and being completely broken is the only place from where we can clearly see that utter dependence on Him is the only way we can live a Christ-like life.

Do you see the difference now?

We can handle temptation or testing by abiding in Christ because He is the way out of what are the common temptations of mankind but we have more than we can handle when we step out of that protective dome and find ourselves broken with no other way out but to turn back to Him.

That is where God often takes us; to exactly more than we can handle to remind us of his complete love for us and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to free us from self so that we will depend on him for everything.

God wants us to depend on him for every single aspect of our lives because it is only then that we are intricately encompassed in his master plan for us. Since God’s plan for us is perfect and he sees every possible scenario than can occur in our lives, doesn’t it make sense to depend on him, to abide in him at all times?

Utter dependence on God is where we are sometimes brought as a reminder that even though we have the free will to let self get in the way, submitting self to God and depending on Him is where we always want to be.

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