a way of escape, battles, bearing our burdens, burdens, calling, Christian encouragement, christian journey, christian walk, Christianity, coping, coping in stress, crashing under the load, crushing load, dependence on God, devotional, dieing to self, encouragement, God's plan, life source, loads, more than I can bear, plan, relying on God, relying on self, stress, temptation, too much to carry, too much to handle, true hope, truth, vine and the branches, when I am weak
First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
A few weeks ago I came across an article that talked about how over the years Christians have misinterpreted First Corinthians 10:13. We have superimposed its teaching over every circumstance of our lives, not just in the area of temptation. For instance, how many times have you heard someone say, “God will not give you more than you can bear?” Is that really what this verse says? Does it say that in every area of your life God will make a way of escape? Does it say that I will be able to endure whatever God places in my path?
In actuality, First Corinthians 10 says that God will never give us more temptation than we can handle. This was a huge “Aha!” moment for me. After all, the Lord has been teaching me for some time that I can do nothing through self, but anything though Him. If I believe that God will never give me more than I can handle, what’s the point in being able to do all things through Christ as Philippians 4:13 says? If God never puts on my back a heavier load than I can carry, why does He bother to say in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”? So, when people would say, “God will not give you more than you can handle,” things just didn’t connect well for me. My spirit was torn between falling to my knees in full surrender, or “bucking up” and getting the job done. As I realized this verse only addresses temptation, the dots started connecting.
I am actually finding as I walk this journey of the Christian life (or as I crawl depending on the day) that God always gives me more than I can bear. It’s not to prove He can, or make my life miserable, it’s simply to help me realize that I truly can do nothing through self. He gives me more than I can bear to drive me to fellowship with Him. Not the kind of fellowship that’s short little prayers, but the kind of fellowship where I am desperate for His presence in my life. When I die to self and allow Him to live through me, that’s when all things are possible. When I am abiding in Christ, my Source is the vine and has nothing to do with me (the branch). It’s all Him.
Have you ever seen a branch that is able to hold much without its connection to the tree? I haven’t. When a branch is out by its lonesome, all I do is collect it for the burn pile. I would never think to depend on it to hold anything. If I needed to hang something, I would naturally go to a nearby tree where the branch is still attached. In the physical world, we realize that the branch has no strength on its own. We know that it must be attached.
We also need to be remember that sometimes, even when the branch has the appearance of attachment, it can still really not be connected at all. If it’s not linked, it will still have no power to hold anything no matter what it looks like. A strong, living, fully functioning branch is always totally dependent on its life source. It’s not just sitting there. It’s actually drawing its strength from its source. A branch has no strength on its own and neither do we.
Dependence is a full-time job. Can you imagine how strong the branch would be if it only connected to the tree once a week? How about three times a week? How about every day? Its connection to its source is the key to its strength. Its total dependence on its root is the key to its ability to hold any weight.
So it is with us. I’m sorry people, but even if you go to the best church in the whole world, depending on it will not bring automatic dependence on the Lord. Your church will help you stay accountable to that dependence. It will help you remember that God alone is your strength. It will encourage you to worship, but it cannot make you dependent on the Lord. Only you can do that. Only you are able to realize as Paul did in I Corinthians 15:31 that we must die daily. We are not called to stand strong. We are called to die. We are called to be completely and totally dependent on our God.
If you are going through more than you can bear, know that it’s a good thing. God is calling you to be totally and completely dependent on Him. He is reminding you that He wants all of you, all the time. He is calling you to enter into true intimacy with Him and stay there. He is calling you to death so that His resurrection can live through you.
So, let’s remember that in actuality, God always gives us more than we can bear and let’s praise Him for that today. If He didn’t drive us to our knees, we would never get there. I am going to leave you with a verse that sums all this up beautifully. Second Corinthians 12:10 says, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.”