11Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No 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 10:11-13
History is full of examples of times when growing lazy or complacent in faith grew into an overconfidence that preceded some pretty large falls. Think of King David. Though he was a man after God’s own heart, he thought he could somehow get away with adultery and murder. Think of Solomon. He thought he was so wise he knew better than God and fell into all kinds of sin. Napoleon thought he was unbeatable until he came to a little battle at Waterloo. The list goes on and on from presidents to sports figures to religious leaders. It seems no one is immune to growing overconfident.
How does this happen? Look at the Scripture above. “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). It all comes down to complacency leading to over-confidence. We think we can get smack dab in the middle of sin and not be affected by it. We think a certain sin is something we can handle when in fact it is handling us. We can’t play with fire and expect no burns. But it’s just so tempting to try. And that’s where we can keep alert, recognizing the temptation to relax in our faith. The key word is temptation.
This is where overconfidence comes in; we feel like we are doing okay in a certain area of our life and we let down our guard. Then, as we grow complacent in our faith, the enemy of our soul deceives us by making us believe we now face temptations alone. He tells us we have been abandoned and no one could possibly understand the situation we find ourselves in.
But we are not alone in facing temptation of any kind. Verse 13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” Anything we face, any sin whether it is sexual immorality, materialism, or complacency has been faced before, not by a few, but by countless others. And Hebrews 4:15 encourages us with the ultimate example of One who resisted temptation in the Person of Jesus Christ.
So what good is it to know the temptation to become complacent will come our way? So we can be prepared and recognize temptation is not just a solicitation to sin, it’s also an opportunity to show His righteousness as we respond to any temptation. It’s true that falls often follow overconfidence. But there’s opportunity for righteousness in every situation.
- What temptations am I currently facing? How can I turn temptation into an opportunity to show God’s glory?
- What are the areas in my life where I feel confident? Should I be this confident?
Prayer – Father, thank You that You gave me Your Word to instruct me in my daily walk with You. Forgive me when I grow overconfident and then fall into the snares of the enemy. Help me abide in You so closely that I depend only on You and not in something that could enslave me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.