Every day we are hit by little tests of character and goodness and Godly purity. These little biters can range from the seemingly small (grabbing a few envelopes from the office to save you a trip to the store) to very large (porn watching, cheating, rage). However, I contend that there is no “small” temptation or “large” temptation,… there is only temptation. The small leads to the big (the gradual sin decline- mastered by the enemy to lure you into sin in a way that seems good or moral or not dangerous). However the small is also big. Sin is missing the mark, not being holy. A small drop of red wine will show up just as clearly as a large spill does on a white linen napkin. Temptations are all based on lies. You being told a lie is the temptation. For example, “It’s just one time. You deserve it.” Or “You are so good most of the time and this one time is not going to hurt anyone.” Or “As long as no one gets hurt or finds out, it is fine.” Or the classic “No one will ever know”. These lies are the temptation. You hearing these lies in your head is just good hearing, no sin involved. Unless. Unless you buy the lie and agree with the lie and act. Then, you have sinned. Lie and usually pride (how could I leave that out?) Are the basis for every temptation because of the simple fact that the king of evil fell because of these and hence became the father of lies. So, how can this help us as Christ followers? Let me tell you now. Knowing how the enemy works and where he will attack gives away the element of surprise and allows you to arm yourself for battle before he strikes another blow. If you want to be free and saved, that is. And how we do this is through much prayer (He who is in us is greater than He who is in the world- see yesterday’s blog) and Bible reading (filling with truth from Truth) and self talk (personalizing these components). We can win victories every day, one resistance at a time. And if giving into certain temptations has become a habit and lies are etched into the mind to look like truth, remember that you break a bad habit with a good habit and you do it one good decision at a time until all the practice becomes a habit and God purifies you again with love and truth. He wants us to freely love Him and have joy and peace and life, whereas the enemy wants us in bondage and without joy to the point of death. We choose our “fate” one decision at a time and we all choose for ourselves right now who we will serve.
Openness. The key to purity is living your life as an open book. I heard a quote today I have been reflecting on, “Something done secretly is sorcery.” I dismissed the quote at first but the more I pondered it, chewed on it, I realized there is much truth there. When you think no one is looking, like you are in incognito mode or passwords are up or you are alone in your office or car, you have a draw, an excitement that is no longer in check and is much more easily given into. Not just porn or sexual impurity but also stealing from the office or drinking when you shouldn’t or gossiping or worrying to distraction or whatever purity/sin issue you have fallen for in the past (because that is where you’ll be attacked again). The key is really to live your life in the open as much as humanly possible. Keep your door open. Don’t have a password. Welcome people coming in at odd times. Invite people over. Keep busy. Actually do your work. The main point is that when you go into secret mode, the enemy has you right where he wants you and you are his dupe again. Knowledge is power. Know the enemy’s methods and you can defend yourself. Don’t allow a surprise attack. Remain out in the open and you are much more able to resist being pulled somewhere you think is safe to sin. Because you are always an open book to God. There is no secret place from Him. The enemy can’t even hide from Him. So, He always knows when you’re screwing up, even if no one else does. So, purity is admitting that and saying that you don’t want any distractions to come between my relationship and prayer life with God. Live open, like you are an open book, and I tell you the purity will be there and you will win the victory over sin and distraction and walk in sweeter friendship with the all mighty and loving God of the universe. And He who is always faithful to you will reward you for being faithful to Him. And you will sleep deeper and feel great!