Praying on bench

Preventive Measures

We need to consider just how one begins his or her descent into the worldly elements of Satan’s world.

James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire.[1] 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

While God does not personally put us into a trial, he will allow us to face the difficult times of our imperfection and this imperfect world in which we live. Thus, God does not test us but will allow us to be tested. These tests or trying times can tempt us, in our imperfection to sin. We as Christians must guard our figurative heart at all costs.

Jeremiah 17:9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

The heart is more deceitful than all else,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

The trial, the stress to sin, hits the imperfect human makeup, and the danger of reacting to the situation in a wrong way exists. A particular situation, even an innocent appearing situation, can give rise to wrong desires. This desire then assists as an enticement to sin. Therefore, the Christian is placing himself before temptation.

Satan is the God of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and the influence of his world (John 14:30; Rev 12:9), tempt the Christian mind and heart with things that are contrary to God’s moral standard or with mental leanings that are evil in the eyes of God. Satan and his world use (1) the desire of the imperfect, fallen flesh; (2) the desire of our eyes, the window to our heart; (3) the craving of material possessions, and the like. (1 John 2:16)

How is the Christian tried in this evil way? He is tried when he allows his imperfection, the bad that dwells in him, to become animated. Once this animation takes place, sin will have gotten the mastery over him, controlling his actions like a puppet master controls a puppet. (See Romans 6:14, 19) This comes about because he failed to dismiss the wicked thoughts that enter his mind. That is why he should have prayed “do not bring [me] into temptation, but deliver [me] from the evil one.” (Matt 6:13) What we need to do is talk to God immediately, begging him to guard our mind and heart, helping us to identify the wrongful thinking with our Christian conscience, rejecting it for what it is, evil. What is it that will sharpen our Christian conscience, helping us to move on from being a spiritual babe, to a mature Christian? It is an active personal study of God’s Word, his guiding information to us, which warns us, safeguards our thinking. God’s Word keeps us inundated in “whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable if there is any excellence of character and if anything praiseworthy, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)

We need to develop such a close bond with Christ in mind and thought that we do not entertain a single principle of evil that gets past our Christian conscience, to cater to our fallen flesh, our sinful desires. If we sure up our weaknesses by our faith in Christ, drawing closer to God, Satan will not have any room within us. There will be no trial, which could induce us into doing evil, as we will not want to compromise our Christian conscience. We would never dream of violating our uprightness by doing anything that even has a shadow of wrong to it. We will not want to give into anything that our heavenly Father allows to come upon us.

If we entertain the thought that enters our mind (i.e., desire) contrary to his moral laws, as opposed to dismissing it, we will allow it to become fruitful. When a seed is planted in the ground, the possibility for growth is there. If we entertain the inappropriate thoughts; we are cultivating the thinking, bringing it to fruition. As we nurture that wrongful thinking in our heart, we will eventually give way to sin. Therefore, an act of sin is the offspring of wrongful thinking that is nurtured until it is delivered.

How is it that we get those wrongful thoughts in the first place? Whatever we take into our mind through our senses, will inevitably enter the heart, the inner person. Our associating with persons who do not value our Bible principles will usually contribute to this. How are we to identify which associations are wrong, even dangerous to our spirituality? See tomorrows DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

[1] Or “own lust