There’s a little book someone put me on to entitled, True Friendship, by Vaughan Roberts. There’s a question he asks in it that reminded me of a question I used to ask myself but haven’t recently;
If you were the devil, where would you attack yourself?
It’s been a long time since I’ve asked myself that question. So, my first question to myself was, “Is one of Satan’s plans for attacking me, to get me to stop asking that question?” I think the answer was “yes.” Here’s the thing; Satan and his demons have had 2000 years to think about tripping up Christians and longer than that for true followers of God. He’s had 65 years to study me and he knows exactly where and how I’m most vulnerable. My guess is they’re asking the same question of you that they are of me:
• Where is he most weak? • Where have we been able to trip him up before? • What “small sin” has he given up conquering that we can leverage? • Is there someone, or some thing, we can put in his way to tempt him?
Every mature Christian knows this verse. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
But exactly how should, and how can we resist temptation?
1. Self-examination – Begin by praying for wisdom. Then take an hour to write out a game plan for how, if you were Satan, he’d tempt you. You will need the Holy Spirit to guide you in that process. Listen to God.
“Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—if you would only listen to me, Israel!” Psalm 81:8
2. Ask your godly friends – Share this blog with your closest godly friends. Ask them to be honest enough with you to point out your vulnerability. I have an accountability group. We’ve met for over 20 years. We’ve asked and answered ourselves the questions I posed earlier. Blind spots are called blind spots precisely because we can’t see them. Do you have the courage to ask your friends or your spouse where they are? If you don’t, then Satan has found one more enormous blind spot in your life! Pride.
There’s an old adage in recovery programs that, “secrecy is not your friend.” Christians not willing to be vulnerable and accountable to others are “dead meat” for failure.
3. Take “the Devil” seriously – Seriously, up until I was 30 years of age I really didn’t believe in demons. I believed in Satan, but I thought the word demons, was a term for evil in general.
Three books changed my worldview; The Bible, The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis and This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti.
While I do not believe demons or Satan can “make” anyone sin, as I said in The 10 Second Rule, they can “blow in our ear,” tempting believers to presume on the grace of God to forgive us when we do.
4. Pray regularly for vigilance – If you have the practice of regularly praying about being tempted you’ll not be. Failing to be vigilant in prayer may be one more attempt by Satan to deceive you.
5. Discuss this blog with your children, grandchildren, or those you mentor, today!
So, please don’t just read this blog and move on. If you do, Satan may have just won again!
Following Jesus in Real Life
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