I think the reason temptation is so powerful is that it blinds us to how we maybe getting deceived. What you see is typically not what you get. The hook looks really good until you swallow it. We all have the potential to succumb to temptation over and over again. We do have the ability to say, “NO!” And what is the best news of all, our past choices never have to be the story on our future.
Temptations come in all shapes and sizes. Since our enemy can’t defeat God he will do all he can to defeat us and get us into small thinking and selfish living.
1. Casual Contact (the small, seemingly insignificant things the enemy uses to get a foothold in our lives). This is the daily barrage of small gnats that irritate the joy out of you. Financial investors know that small amounts over long periods of time can make great wealth. In the same way, great ground is lost by small erosion on a daily basis.
The best defense to Casual Contact temptation is to have solid accountability. True friendships are a great way to keep your footing. A friend that consistently asks how things are going in your life. A true friend will wound you where it matters but the wound is exactly what you need.
2. Corrosive Conflict (the “misunderstandings” that happen with people in your workplace, church, neighborhood, and family that end up creating division). Families and teams are the basic building blocks of our society. When they crumble ground is lost. The Bible encourages us to do everything we can to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14).
The best defense against losing ground to Corrosive Conflict is to take God at His word. Proverbs 15:1 is a great place to start; gentle answers turn away wrath.
3. Crippling Emotions (the fear, insecurity, and jealousy that we all battle at one time or another). It maybe true that everyone has some form of psychosis in them. Every family and team is made up of differing personalities. When we forget to enjoy the differences we lose ground. If we believe the negative stuff and forget the truth, we lose ground.
The best defense to our Crippling Emotions is to remind ourselves of the truth. Our enemy is a liar, that is the language he uses. Instead of believing lies believe the truth. The truth will set you free from the negative thinking. In order to believe the truth, one must know the truth, get a Bible and begin reading it and then get with other believers who are talking about the Bible and applying it to their lives.
4. Confused Identity (basing who we are on external accomplishments rather than what Christ has already accomplished for us through His death and resurrection). Have you ever over inflated your achievements in order to make yourself look better than you really are? If we do this we are losing ground inside of us. Instead of getting bigger we get smaller. We should remember who we are and who God is and have sober judgement about our abilities and giftedness. Romans 12:3 is spot on, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
The best defense against Confused Identity is to remember who God is. The Bible has hundreds of passages that declare how great God is (Exod 15:7; Jer 32:17, 19; 1 Chron 16:25, 29:11; 2 Chron 6:32; Psalms 47:2, 7, 48:2, 96:4, 136:4; Neh 1:5; Is 12:6, 40:26, 55:9; Ezek 36:23; Josh 7:9; Mal 1:14; Matt 5:35, Luke 1:49; Eph 3:20; 1 Tim 6:15).