Facing Temptation

TemptationImage by loswl via Flickr

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak...For we are not unaware of his [the devil's] schemes.
Matt. 26:41 2 Cor.2:11

'A soldier who knows his enemy and himself will win a thousand battles'. I heard this quote the other day and have tried to remember it. (If anyone knows where it comes from, please do let me know). It made me stop and think about the nature of sin and temptation, and how we fall into the same traps our enemy the devil sets for us, over and over again. (Or am I the only one?).

I recently experienced this when I could see a situation looming where I knew I was going to be tempted. I was feeling spiritually strong at the time and just knew that I wouldn't fall. But, lo and behold, before long I felt myself being dragged along to that place I did and didn't want to go to. What happened?

Firstly, I think that when we are tempted, we switch our brains off! We are called to watch and be aware. This means using our minds and thinking clearly. However, often our sinful nature takes over and the devil convinces us that this is all perfectly natural and actually nothing to do with him. We need to stop and think, 'OK, I've been here before and it's not a good place. I'm in a battle and I've been dragged here again. I do not have to stay.' We need to repent quickly and turn around.

Secondly, we gain strength to face temptation in that place of prayer. Jesus knew this. He was only able to face those immense temptations because of the time He spent communing with the Father. And if we feel that isn't working for us, then maybe we need to stay there a little while longer. Rushed prayer seldom produces the peace and power that we need to face the world. Of course, there is a sense in which all life is prayer and worship, but we also need to go to our room, shut the door and wait on God until that strength comes. That is the place where we cultivate an open channel where God is able to pour all His light and power in.

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inspired said…
don't know where the quote is from but it's good so are the comments ;]
The Message renders 2 Cor 2:11 "After all, we don't want to unwittingly give satan an opening for yet more mischief--we're not oblivous to his sly ways!"

We must truly be ever watchful.
"we are not unaware of the devil's schemes" but we are forgetful of them!! But more so because we don't like to remember how we went down with the count last time.
But if we see ourselves as forgiven and cleansed, we can remember his hounding techniques without visualizing ourselves still stuck in his jaws. When he comes to call, we're not answering this time!
david mcmahon said…
That is a beautiful shot. Well chosen, Mike, and a very powerful post, too ...
Great verses and wise thoughts. We all face temptations but thourgh Our Lord we can have victory. PRAYER, as you said will give us what we are lacking. connie from Texas
L.L. Barkat said…
I like the thought that facing temptation requires switching our brains to "on". And I suppose it is useful to ask ourselves what makes us ease it "off" sometimes.