Even as I obeyed the Lord and called the front desk to block HBO out my hotel room, I was kind of disappointed. After all, I am a man of God, why was I not able to control myself on my own? Better yet, why did God not send an angel to give me the strength to resist such temptation?
I really wish I could be a super spiritual man, but the reality is that I am not. I am weak, however, it is important to establish that my weakness is not an excuse to surrender to sin. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 tells us,
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NKJV)
In moments when we are faced with temptations the power of God is indeed available. God is telling us “…His grace is sufficient…” In other words, God’s grace is all we need to have victory over nights like the one I had in that hotel room in Indianapolis. God gave us an amazing truth concerning temptations in James 1:13-14,
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (NKJV)
I was not looking for anything pornographic as I was flipping channels. The naked woman on HBO was a temptation set by satanic forces. However, the moment I identified the temptation, it was up to me to choose God or pornography. In First Corinthians 10:13 we find a powerful promise,
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)
The first thing we need to establish is that there are temptations that are very common. We all face them in one way or another, that is, if we are honest.
The promise here is that God will not allow us to face a temptation stronger than the spiritual level we find ourselves in, at the moment of the temptation. Further, God promised that if we find ourselves facing a temptation that is indeed too strong for us, He would still provide an exit. The problem is that many times we refuse to take that exit and those are the times we really get in trouble. At the end, it is our doing, not Satan; and definitely, not God.