1 Corinthians 10:1-13
10 Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know about our people who lived long ago. They were all led by the cloud. They all walked through the Red Sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same supernatural food. 4 They all drank the same supernatural water. They drank from the supernatural rock that went with them. That rock was Christ. 5 But God was not pleased with most of them. Their bodies were scattered all over the desert. 6 Now those things happened as examples for us. They are supposed to keep us from longing for evil things, as the people of Israel did. 7 So don’t worship statues of gods, as some of them did. It is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance wildly in front of their god.” (Exodus 32:6) 8 We should not commit sexual sins, as some of them did. In one day 23,000 of them died. 9 We should not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did. They were killed by snakes. 10 Don’t tell your leaders how unhappy you are with them. That’s what some of the people of Israel did. And they were killed by the destroying angel. 11 Those things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who are living at the time when God’s work is being completed. 12 So be careful. When you think you are standing firm, you might fall. 13 You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.
This passage is a sobering reminder that we can all “fall”, if we don’t keep our hearts and minds on Christ. We can be coming to Church, involved in ministry, going to Connect Group, appearing to be “doing well” – being like the Israelites and drinking the same spiritual drink and eating the same spiritual food as one another, but our individual hearts can become diverted in the midst of this. Other things can creep into our lives and become more important. And if they become more important than Christ, then they become an idol, which means we end up pursuing them at the cost of pursuing after Jesus.
And yet verse 13 says, “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”. We are all tempted at times to live according to our own wishes and desires, but keeping our eyes fixed on Christ means that we can stand strong in the face of temptation, knowing that God will provide a way out.
May I continually be evaluating the priorities in my life to ensure that my number one priority stays as Jesus!
Lord God, help me to keep my eyes and heart fixed on you. Help me to keep my heart “in check” and soft towards you. And when the inevitable temptations to divert my heart come, help me to stand strong in the face of them. Amen
Written by Ps. Jen Irving