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.
1 Corinthians 10:13
God has promised that he will not allow us to be tempted beyond our abilities but will make the way of escape.
I always thought of "the way of escape" as some sort of secret trap door - something like a fun house or video game in which we press a button and a door immediately opens for us to escape.
No doubt there are times when that is the case. The word of God instructs us to "flee temptation" and there are certainly occasions when we can escape simply by leaving a location or situation.
The late Billy Graham had a policy of never being alone with a woman other than his wife or family members. He would not ride in an elevator alone with a woman or counsel a woman without another woman present. In so doing he "fled" temptation through avoidance - not permitting temptation to have any opportunity to trap him.
If we don't want to use drugs or alcohol, we can stay away from places where they are being used or people who are using them. For many, this avoidance has to be extreme if they are to remain free from using again.
Outcomes vs. Secret Doors
Many temptations are not quite as easy to simply avoid!
If we are tempted to overeat, we cannot stay away from all foods to escape. If we are tempted in our thought life, the answer is not to have a lobotomy!
The Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 10:13, for "escape," is ekbasis. The same Greek word is used in Hebrews 13:7...
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the OUTCOME of their conduct.
In this case the word is translated OUTCOME!
It refers to the outcome of the faith of the spiritual leaders. In other words, the "way of escape" God speaks of in 1 Corinthians 10:13 may be an "outcome" instead of a "secret door."
Our escape may not always be an instant secret "escape door" that appears at in the moment we are tempted. Instead it can be an "outcome" of our faith.
Some homes or apartments have fire escapes to allow residents to safely leave in case of fire. Fire escapes do not appear at the moment a fire is ignited. They are built ahead fo time to be used when the need appears.
In the same way, our escape from temptation may not be a result of an instant door that appears in the moment but is something that is built ahead of time! It is an OUTCOME of our faith.
Building Our Own Fire Escapes
David said he "hid the Word of God in his heart that he might not sin against God."
Is the Word of God hidden in our hearts so that it might be our escape in time of temptation?
Jesus said, "Pray that you enter not into temptation."
Have we developed a pray life that will help us to not enter into temptation?
The book of Hebrews tells us to "not forsake the assembling of ourselves together."
Do we regularly attend a church in which its leaders accurately teach the Word of God?
We can see then that the "ESCAPE" God promises is not always some quick solution that appears when we are tempted.
Rather it is often an "OUTCOME" of the faith we have built in our hearts that will guide us toward escaping temptation!
Take time in your life to build your own spiritual "fire escape" so that you will be able to "escape" when temptation comes!