Ephesians 6: 11-12
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I love how the word ‘schemes’ is used in this verse…’the devil’s schemes’. We are in a battle and it is not against an enemy with honor or pride. He doesn’t fight fair and he is not stupid, he knows what works! The devil uses our weaknesses, he is patient and cunning and his favorite tactic is to get us to undermine and defeat ourselves. He is persistent and he schemes constantly in order to bring our walk with God undone.
There is an old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” We need to be aware of our weaknesses and use strategies to avoid them or, even better, turn them into strengths. You have to go proactive on your war with the devil. If you are goaded by a lust of money you have to break that desire. Give your money away, pay your tithe and then some, develop a habit of choosing God over finances, cut back on your work and spend more time with your family.
If you are temped to watch pornography or cheat on your partner, declare to the devil and yourself that you WILL NOT DO IT!! If there is a person at your office or in your social circle that is tempting you, intentionally limit your exposure to that person. Don’t temp fate and flirt with sin by thinking you are strong enough to keep it under control. If pornography is the problem, get rid of your internet or find alternate activities to fill your time.
Tuesday afternoon is the only day of the week when I get home from work to an empty house. My daughter is at ballet class. It is pretty much the only regular time I have to myself at home. When I found that I was thinking about the dvds I could put on when I had that privacy I made the decision not to leave myself open to the temptation. I changed my workout days and I went from work straight to the ballet school to wait with my wife rather than being tempted.
In Ephesians 6 it also talks about putting on ‘the full armor of God’. Pray, read His word and make sure you fellowship. The prayers of the righteous are powerful.
Whatever you do, make sure you do something!! Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. You may be strong enough 9 times out of 10 but it only takes 1 time out of 10 to do serious damage to your marriage or your career or your walk with God. We are in a war be a tactical fighter and remember that the spirit that lives in you is greater than the spirit that resides in the world.