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Temptation: Shifting From
Defense to Offense!!!

Recently I was chatting with a friend who struggles with pornography addiction.  He was telling me about how things had been going well for quite a while but that, for the last couple of weeks, it felt like he had just been bombarded with temptations.  He was standing strong, but was afraid that the “fiery darts” would wear him down.

Then it hit me:

HE’S PLAYING DEFENSE AND NEEDS TO SWITCH TO OFFENSE!!!!

How do you do that?

EASY!

First off, let’s re-visit the fact that being TEMPTED is not a sin.  Remember, Jesus was tempted as we were (Matt 4:1-4, Heb 4:15).  We only sin when we fall to temptation.  In the area of moral purity that includes thoughts as well as actions.

So, let us look at what my friend was dealing with, by analogy.

We’ve all seen movies were an army is under attack from arrows flying at them.  If the defenders just hide under their shields they eventually get worn down.  Some arrows are bound to get through!  To defeat their attackers the defenders must shoot back!

How does that apply to moral temptation?

Well, when Satan tempts you with something or someone, know by faith (your shield) that God never allows us to be tempted beyond our strength (1 Cor. 10:13) and then go on the attack and PRAY, preferably praying for the person related to the tempation or against the actual sin.  You don’t just pray for strength, you lob prayers back at the actual sins/sinners involved.  This works for both physical and mental temptations, even memories!

Let’s see how this works!

Take the case of my friend in recovery for pornography addiction.  He has a ton of tempting material stored in his memory.  (Don’t we ALL wish we could wipe some memories away?)  If Satan lobs a dart at him by bringing the memory of a particular porn star to mind then my friend just has to take that dart, stop it (through the shield of faith), and then begin praying FOR the porn star, that she might come to know Christ, that she would be delivered from her sin, etc.

See???  You don’t hide behind your defenses, you take the fight back to the Enemy!!!

Is this Scriptural???

You bet!  It is an application of James 4:7:

“Resist the Devil and he will flee from you!”

Now, this is where a little Greek helps out, because some may think that “resist” means to just “stand against”.  The Greek word that we translate into resist, “anthistemi“, as it is used in this verse, tells us to dig in, stand our ground, and actively fight back!  We aren’t supposed to just stand there and let Satan wear us down!  Actively resist!  “Shoot” back!

So, how does this work in the broader sense?  Here are some examples:

  • You are tempted to have lustful thoughts for a person you see, maybe because of how they are dressed or behaving or, maybe, just because they are in your vicinity!  So, you pray for their salvation and, if they are a Christian, that their relationship with Christ is strong and gets stronger!
    .
  • Satan tempts you with memories or thoughts of a scene in an inappropriate movie that you saw, or that was on an explicit web site that you once visited.  You pray for a return to Biblical values and that people would not be led astray. You might even pray for the actors, actresses, producers,etc.

Oh, and you ALWAYS rebuke the Enemy as Michael did in Jude!

In all situations, you must take whatever you are being tempted by and PRAY AGAINST IT.  If it is a person that Satan is tempting you with then you can PRAY FOR THEM!  Lob that temptation back!

Remember: Satan NEVER wants us to pray…EVER!  So, if his attacks on you are causing you to automatically pray, then he is forced to seek a different strategy!

But, I don’t know if I can think of what to pray!

That is OK!  The Holy Spirit will know and will guide you!  Beforehand, though, it would be good to prepare and do your part:

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers when you have to go on the attack.
  • Make a list of people and the types of things that Satan will probably bring to mind to tempt you.  Then, by each name/item, write down how you can pray if that “dart” is lobbed your way.  (This is a really good thing if specific people are tempting you.)
  • Make lists of Bible verses you can use for various attacks and put them in your phone or wallet.
  • Note any new types of attacks, and plan your defense.
  • Get a prayer partner to stand with you in the battle!

This technique has been of great value for me as I have served in Knights’ Quest Ministries.  There are many temptations.  Rather than receive continuous attacks, I want to RESIST by covering people and attacking things with prayer!  Remember, we are engaged in WARFARE!

Never forget the truth of 1 John 4:4:

But you belong to God, my dear children.
You have already won a victory over those
people, because the Spirit who lives in you is
greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (NLT)

If you have tips that could help adults with these issues, leave a COMMENT, below!

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2 comments to Temptation: Shifting From
Defense to Offense!!!

  • Wow Buddy!! Great article!!! Wish I had gotten to this sooner. Been tied up this week and by the Holy Spirit you sensed I needed this and I did!!! Keep doing what you’re doing!!!

  • Marty Anderson

    That was an awesome blog Buddy and a very good line of defense, which is offense. I have a brother in mind that I will share this with. I will forward to him.

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