The weapons of Satan are cheap, but they are anything but new! They have been used throughout the ages, from the time Cain killed his brother Abel, and they continue to be used, to this very day! Jealousy, hatred, lying, stealing, pride and deceit are all known to each and to every person who has ever lived.
They are a corrupt lot of implements and still, there are two more great tools that Satan uses, they are fear and discouragement! This is how he gets to the very heart of man and it is how he slowly destroys him from the inside out. Once Satan gains entry, he can make the person do what he chooses them to do.
However, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you do not have to live a life of torment! Sin should never have that kind of power and hold over anyone who is a "Child of God!"
So, why do we sin? It is simple, the flesh is weak and self-gratification drives us to find as much self pleasure, comfort and satisfaction as possible. It shows itself in sins such as greed, vanity and self-centeredness.
If you are struggling with a temptation that repeats itself over and over; if you constantly ask yourself, "Why do I keep doing this, when I know that it will hurt me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually", then it's time to realize the battleground is in your mind!
This is how I see the process of activating sin in my life: (just remember, the battle is for our mind!)
1. If we belong to Christ Jesus our spirit then belongs to God and we have the power to walk daily in Him. However, we must nurture that Spirit of God each day, in prayer, praise, worship and reading the Word of God, just as we would care for our physical bodies in our daily routines of cleanliness. When we fail to take care of our spiritual selves, the flesh will quickly creep in, because that is the sin nature of man.
That sinful nature seeks what it wants, keeping the focus on our minds, in both our thinking and our emotions, for those things which our flesh desires. As those fleshly temptations lie in wait, we leave ourselves open for attack and all the while we are thinking we have control over it all.
2. When we believe we are in control, the flesh begins to whisper, "Let me think about this." If at this point, I STOP to think about the sin before me, the battle is just about over. I know I don't want to do this, but when I linger and dwell upon reasons like, "just this one time" or "let me just take a moment" it is in those minutes I not only lose the battle, but I allow my emotions entrance.
Now, I'm in a double fix, my mind is convincing me, "it's okay" and my emotions join my flesh and 'lure' me into all the possibilities of pleasure, excitement and enjoyment. My mind then persuades me, "If I leave now, I may regret it for the rest of my life" and my emotions heighten and my behaviors fail.
3. My spirit is weakening and my flesh is now gaining control. I believe that there is a moment where, if I would listen, I would hear the Spirit of God, as it tries to call out to me, "Flee! Go Now, before it is too late!" However, my mind is 'under the influence' of my frenzied affections.
My subconscious is looking for any kind of rationalization that will help me justify what I am about to do, it is at this point where my mind joins with my emotions and the process of sin takes over.
Now, if I know what choices cause me to sin, I can change my mind about how I respond. To keep myself in check, I must rectify the three stages that I wrote about above:
1. I must constantly seek God and His will for my life. I cannot forsake learning about Him. I cannot forsake praising and worshipping Him! I cannot forsake reading the Word of God! I cannot stop speaking to Him in prayer everyday of my life!!
2. I must not "think about what I can do," instead I should go to prayer at once allowing the Spirit of God complete control! In doing so, my emotions do not get involved!!
3. I must learn to listen and hear the Spirit of God say, "Flee, temptation now!" and then simply obey it!! God's Word states, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
God has never and will never allow temptation to come without providing a way out! Just look at what God's Word says; There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 Satan's tools are "For Sale" but we don't have to buy into them!!
So, at the FIRST MOMENT there is a temptation to sin, claim this verse and listen for that still small voice that is saying, "Stop! God has made a way out!" I believe as we learn God's Word, stop to listen to the Spirit of God and know in our hearts there is a way of escape... we can and will have VICTORY!!!
Keep pressing on my friend!! God is on your side and He wants to help you in every step of your journey! He will give you victory!!