What sins do you struggle with? Sexual immorality? Anger? Gossip? Putting material things before God? Maybe you suffer from some other sin or maybe even multiple sins? The point is we all struggle with something. As long as our heavenly souls consume our earthly bodies we will always, constantly be waging wars with ourselves. We will never be truly separated from temptations on this side of heaven.
The enemy knows your weaknesses. He is crafty in how he uses everything possible against you. He singles out the sheep from the flock and the shepherd. Dr. Charles Stanley says “Satan’s choicest way to be snared by temptation is to do this, his choice method is to get our focus off of the big picture in life and narrow it down onto the one single thing he is going to use to snare us. And what he does is he is going to simply alter our focus … When you are tempted by anything, the intensity of the temptation increases to the proportion or the degree you focus onto the object of temptation” Read Genesis 3:1-6. In verse 6 it says “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, …” Here we see that Satan got her to narrow her focus on how good that fruit looked and she couldn’t see all of the other abundant things in the garden. Read Joshua 7:20-22. Achan and Joshua were being obedient to God by taking a city. Achan’s eyes were zeroed in on all the gold and silver and the clothes. Satan took Achan’s eyes off the big picture. Read 2 Samuel 11:1-4. David had this victory with the Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah but Satan crept in and narrowed David’s focus down to the woman who was bathing.
Satan prowls around like a predator looking for prey. His most powerful tool is your thoughts. (2 Corinthians 2:11 says “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”) Whatever thoughts you entertain in your mind will consume you and cause you to act on them. See, your mind is a muscle and if it is weak it is going to to give out under the weight pressing down onto it. So if, for example, you struggle with your self image. You’re constantly talking down to yourself saying things like “I’m ugly”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a failure”. Satan uses these nasty UNTRUE (lies) thoughts to bring you down farther into his pit. If you, as soon as one of those thoughts enters your mind rebuke it and cast it out by praying and countering the lies with scripture, maybe pysically write it down and then crumple it up and throw it away or burn it, you will then be strengthening your mind and training your thoughts. We must remember that we cannot do this alone. Call on God, the giver of strength. My husband uses this analogy:
“Say you’re benchpressing and you’re muscles are small and weak. You bring the weights down on yourself but you cannot get them off of you. They’re too heavy. This is the reason why you have a spotter or trainer there to help you get the weights off of you because you can’t do it alone.”
Your spotter is the Lord. He intervenes when you call on Him for help. When you can’t resist the temptations to sin pray to God. He is your trainer to help you strengthen your weak and tired muscles.
Our struggles strengthen us when we use them to better ourselves and our relationship with God. Make Satan’s plan backfire. Take his temptations and counteract them. The stronger our arsenal the stronger our fight! This is why it is important to read scripture and pray to God every day otherwise we will not be aware of the big picture.
Bless you and your day, reader!