All Christ-followers wrestle against principalities and powers (Eph 6:12), and we don't always win those battles. Knowing how the enemy works, however, can aid us in living in victory.
Here are some ways the enemy seeks to lure us into sin:
1. He simply capitalizes on our flesh. Even as believers, we still battle against the flesh. Sometimes, we're easy prey because we choose not to fight very hard. We're our worst enemies—not Satan and his forces.
2. He magnifies the pleasure while minimizing the conviction. All we focus on is what we will get if we choose to give in to temptation—not what conviction we'll experience after we've given in.
3. He turns our attention to the immediate rather than the eternal. Sin is often about getting something right now, without regard for eternity where we will face God—or even for more immediate consequences in many cases.
4. He directs us to what we're missing rather than to what God has already given us. That's what he did with Adam and Eve—direct them to the tree they could not have, and consequently away from all that God had already given them. "God's just keeping it from you," was his point.
5. He diverts and distracts us from spending time in God's Word. When we don't know the truth of God's Word, we won't recognize the lies the enemy sends our way. We'll buy his lies, such as "Nobody will know" and "You deserve it."
6. He reminds us that yesterday's sin didn't always bring consequences. Why should we be concerned about our choices today when we've gotten away with the same choice in the past (or at least we think we have)?
7. He convinces us that our sins aren't as bad as they could have been—and they're certainly not as bad as others' sin. After all, others have committed adultery, stolen and murdered. Surely our sin is not so bad . . . .
8. He exploits weak repentance. He's not alarmed by the prayer, "God, forgive me" when we already know we're going to commit the sin again. Confession and repentance without brokenness before a loving, holy God are insufficient to overcome sin.
9. He persuades us that we can handle it when we put ourselves in a potential place of temptation. We might advise others, "Play with fire, and you'll get burned" —but that's the word for them, not for us. We can, we're sure, get close to sin without ever giving in.
10. He blinds us from seeing the beauty of Christ and the joy of honoring Him. When we fail to see the glory of Christ and the celebration of praising and obeying Him, we find it easier to sin against Him.
How does the enemy lure you into sin?
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
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