Links Daily Devotional

That’s Tempting

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)

Bobby Jones won 13 major golf tournaments, four in one year, and retired from competitive golf at the age of 28. It is an understatement to say he was a brilliant player.

Every spiritual temptation comes with two things: limits that are inside your ability and a way of escape.He was a virtual maestro on the course, conducting every part of the orchestra from the brass section (brassie) to percussion (thunderous applause) with precision and grace. From the outside, he appeared to be completely calm and at ease.

But there was a battle going on inside him in every round, perhaps on almost every shot, as he struggled against exactly the same opponents that plague us—maintaining focus, ignoring negative thoughts, and remembering that his real opponent was “Old Man Par.” Jones was so wrapped up in all this that it was not unusual for him to lose 10 pounds of weight or more during a tournament.

But that was only in competitive golf. He described casual golf as a walk in the park, competitive golf like walking on a tightrope, and the majors as a tightrope walk without a net.

Is your life a walk in the park, or do you focus on it as though you were walking on a tightrope—maybe even without a net?

I confess that in both golf and life I lose my focus. For lack of focus I may foozle a simple chip or miss an easy putt. For lack of focus I may also yield to a temptation. But if I am alert I can see that this is a temptation and I can resist it, or at least I can find “the way of escape.”

It is helpful to me, as today’s verse states, to know that no temptation I experience is unique, nor is it beyond my ability. Additionally, I can get away from it by simply taking the way of escape. But I have to know that I am being tempted.

When I have a four-iron shot between two trees that are 20 yards in front of me and three feet apart, I am tempted to hit it. I have to ask if it is within the limits of my abilities, and if it is not I look for a way of escape.

Remember as you walk through life that every spiritual temptation comes with two things: limits that are inside your ability and a way of escape. Resist the temptation, or take the way of escape, but one way or the other don’t fall—stay on the tightrope.

Lewis Greer
February 15, 2017
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