Think of the most moral and good person that you know. They’re so good they make Superman look like Lex Luthor. They can’t seem to help it.
Have them in mind?
What if they had a moral failing? Would you expect it? How would you feel?
We Are At War
Everyone has a war inside them. A few have surrendered, some fight alone, others with the power of God.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Anyone actively fighting temptation knows their weaknesses, and if they’re wise, guard against them. Mine are pride and lust. I have to actively remind myself that I am not the smartest person in the room…unless I’m by myself. I have to keep my eyes on my wife alone, so I avoid any images that would trigger thoughts that shouldn’t be there.
You’re Not Your Only Worst Enemy
Satan has an army ready to pull you off mission. (Ephesians 6:10-18). You’re a target:
- After a spiritual victory
- When you’re alone
- Physically drained
- Waiting on God
- At church even
- When you’re starting something great for God
They won’t attack unless you’re a threat or a potential threat. Are you a thorn in Satan’s side or on his side?
An attack can come while on vacation, where most of us have our guard down. I was at Cedar Point with family in the rollercoaster park. Surrounded by women who were…visually appealing.
So I drew the sword of the Spirit, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Romans 6:17. Then I did what Jesus did in the desert against Satan, I counterattacked with Scripture.
Eyes wander…”But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
Eyes wander again…”“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” Job 31:1
Ooh, look…”…may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19
I eventually had to prayerfully call for help as I weakened. Some may laugh, but C.S Lewis puts it well: “Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. You find out the strength of the wind by walking against it, not by lying down.”
The attack ended for the moment. It did stress the importance of your pastors because they’re always under attack.
It starts with an urge, that becomes a thought, then an action that you’ll have to pay for. That’s why Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount was teaching us to kill it in the ‘urges stage’.
I could go on for awhile, but I’ll end with these; “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Practically, it means if you know what your weaknesses are, stay away from places, people, and situations that they’re present or could be. You can fight them off, 1st Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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.”