“Be sober-minded; be watchful,” writes the Apostle Peter, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5:8). He is committed to our death and destruction (John 10:10). Whether you recognize it or not, you’re like a gazelle out on the savanna going about your day while a predator observes to discover where you are most vulnerable. His strategy is to notice your weak points in order to deliver timely temptations. James 1:14-15 says, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Are you aware of what makes you lion bait?
Do you know your own vulnerabilities as well as your adversary does?
Become sober-minded and watchful by asking yourself five questions:
- Where am I most susceptible to temptation? Is it through pride? Envy? Gluttony? Sloth? Lust?
- At what point in the day do I tend to be weakest?
- What friends most often cause me to stumble?
- What TV or online habits leave me vulnerable to temptation?
- What sins do I justify as struggles that I just “need to manage”?
Your defense against areas of vulnerability, however, can’t just be a resolution to do better. In your own strength you will remain lion bait. Your only hope is in the victory Christ has already won. So how should you live knowing you have both an enemy and a redeemer?
Make no provisions for the flesh.
“Make no provisions for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). In other words, don’t make any accommodation for fleshly desires to grow into sin. Elsewhere, Paul writes to Timothy, “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Put opportunities to sin far away.
Confess your sin.
The worst thing you can do if you stumble in your fight against sin is simply resolve to do better while you seek to manage your appearance so that you appear without sin. Your only hope is to confess your sin and look to Christ for forgiveness. “If we confess our sins,” the Apostle John writes, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
See yourself as a gift.
Your body (including your sexual desire) is intended to be a gift to your future spouse. Treat it as such so that you will be able to give a pure, undefiled gift to your bride. Honoring your future marriage vows starts now!