Written by: Mrs. Liberty Baker
God IS faithful, and He DOES NOT change. I am so thankful for those leaders in my life that have turned me toward an unchanging God.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 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.”
God sometimes uses examples in our lives to teach us. In I Corinthians 10, we are reminded of how holy the children of Israel were to God. He chose them, He cared for them and fed them “spiritual meat” and nourished them with spiritual drink from the “spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.” How personal the relationship was between God and the children of Israel. These people were and are to Christians as our leaders and pastors are to us today. They were chosen by God himself, much like our own teachers and leaders have been chosen to do His work in the field God has lead them to.
This chapter goes on to remind us of some of the ungodly sins that the children of Israel chose to commit. Some chose idolatry, fornication, murmuring, and even the sin of tempting God.
How easy it is to be so far away from this story that we cannot relate or we simply fail to see how it relates to our current day lives. Verse 11-12 says, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon who the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” God allowed his chosen people to fall to be an example to us of how capable we are of committing the same sin.
The verse says “they are written for our admonition”. The word admonition means to call attention to, rebuke or warn. But if we fail to receive the example as a reminder, is He not capable of allowing yet another example in order to remind us yet again that we are not above danger?
For many years I have lived my Christian life in a way that was “safe” because I did not trust myself to be faithful to God and feared that I someday could fall. I did not believe that I had it in me, so to speak to be faithful enough while serving God in great capacities, but not fall. I can sing the words to the song written by Brooke Hooker Williams, “Lord, I need Your heart, I need Your love. Send Your holy power from above. I will stay true though sometimes I falter, I will pour out my heart to You at this altar I make. I will not forsake. I will be true.” And not question if I am worthy to speak the words “I will not forsake” because I have chosen not to forsake the God who is faithful.
We cannot trust in our faithfulness, but we can trust in God's. It is God's faithfulness that we must trust in to keep us from falling. May I repeat again the previous passage for you? I Corinthians 10:12-13, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 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.” How futile my efforts to trust myself to be faithful to God are, when I am incapable of doing so; but God is faithful! It is HIS faithfulness I must trust in, not my own.
“Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God, my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not; Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.” - Thomas Chisholm
Yet in my weakness, I wonder, what if I do yield to temptation? It could happen to me. I would rather take a chance of God making an example of me someday in my future and serve Him with my life rather than never having done His work because I was afraid of my sin causing me to fall. Think of all the lives that God changes through you when He works through you. Look at your leaders and see the many lives they have turned to God. If they stumble (pray every day that they do not), the work that God has done through them is eternal, nor does a stumble indicate that God's work through them is finished. God's work does not end.
If I choose to serve God in HIS faithfulness, He promises to make a way to escape temptation. But if I fall, then let me be an example. Who are we to think that we are incapable of yielding to the temptations that the chosen people of God were taken with, when those same sins lurk in the hidden places of our own hearts. The lustful or evil thought that enters your mind is the one that you are capable of committing because it is there in your heart, crouching in that dark corner, seemingly hidden.
I Cor. 10:11 said that “these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon who the ends of the world are come.” We are approaching the end of the world. Matthew 24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” God warned Noah out of love and protected Noah from destruction. Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Be reminded that we do not know how many warnings God will give to us. (On a side note, Noah did not act on an anxious type of fear. He acted out of reverence. God spoke things that Noah trusted God about then Noah acted on what God said out of fear or reverence.)
Let us choose to forsake our hidden iniquity, trust in God's faithfulness, pray that He lead us not into temptation and for God's glory may we continue in His service, lest we become an example. God IS faithful and as He HAS BEEN, He forever WILL BE!