Your initial response may be –Of course NOT! God would never allow Satan to tempt me in such a way that I could not resist. God loves me and wants me to succeed!
In 1 Cor. 10:13 we read God “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able… to bear…” It seems so True…
As it is written the statement
is indeed FALSE!
See Question #10: What Is Your “Satan IQ?“
It’s a partial truth.
Joe had been active in Church most of his life. Over the years he had used alcohol and pot while partying with friends. He never had any major legal problems before his final “going away party.” Through his teen years he received a Public Intoxication, Illegal possession of alcohol and Illegal possession of pot- all misdemeanors. Joe believed as long as he kind-of stayed active in Church and never did anything “really bad” God would protect him. Satan had other plans. Joe knew it was time to clean-up from the alcohol and drugs and get his life in order. He had just turned 18. His friends were having a final party, just for him. In addition to alcohol and pot, a friend brought some meth to the party. Joe had only used meth a couple of times before, but he said “What the heck! One more time isn’t going to hurt.” After using the meth, Joe became confused and started acting bizarre. His friends became concerned. Joe had drank more alcohol and used more pot and meth than ever before. The party got out of control. The cops were called. Joe ran. He broke into a neighbor’s house where an elderly single woman lived. Found a gun. By now Joe was experiencing psychotic symptoms caused by all the alcohol and drug use. He shot the lady and took her car… You know the rest of the story. When I met Joe a few days later he was in the County Jail -sober now. He had only bits and pieces of memory of the “going away party.” His charge- Murder a first degree felony.
On one hand– Satan can certainly persuade us to commit sin. He has successfully lured each of us beginning with Adam and Eve, to commit sin. (Romans 3:23) -The only exception has been Christ.
Let’s read all the words in the scripture 1 Cor 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; BUT will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Pay attention to the “BUT”. The scripture suggests what God will do when you are confronted with temptation is “make a way to escape” IF you choose. If you do not, than God has no obligation to “bear you up” against temptation.
On the other hand – It must also be true that by doing certain things we can indeed be more successful in resisting Satan’s temptations. God is obligated to “bear you up” against temptation when you do your share.
What is your share?
This scripture in Alma helps us understand our personal responsibility in resisting temptation:
But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; Alma 13:28
Here we learn if we are not “to be tempted above that which we can bear” we must 1) humble ourselves before the Lord; 2) Call on his holy name, and 3) Watch and pray continually.
Other scriptures suggesting personal effort is necessary in order to successfully “bind God to His promise” to strengthen us against Satan’s temptations are:
- “to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Alma 37:33
- “… ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil.” 3 Ne. 18:15, 18
- “Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; … ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptations” Morm. 9:28
- “… be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptation of the devil, that he may not overpower you” Alma 34:39
- “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Matt 26:41
You get the point.
Here are a few general authority quotes suggesting personal responsibility in resisting temptation:
Obedience and faith in the Savior GIVE YOU POWER to resist temptation. (Richard G. Scott, Finding Forgiveness, Apr 1995)
As you ponder these truths, it will come to you with a force that may well change your lives forever. And as it does, you will withstand every temptation of the devil WITH your faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. (Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, Withstand Every Temptation of the Devil, BYU Speeches, February 5, 2006.)
Those of us who humble ourselves before God and pray continually for strength will not be “tempted above that which [we] can bear” (Alma 13:28).