The Source of Temptation: Satan

The source of temptation: Satan.

Read Ephesians 6:10-17

“Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

The struggle we face with temptation is real because the enemy is real. A battlefield is never a safe place. It is a place of danger and death and so requires the soldier to prepare for the battle by putting on his protective armor. In ancient times, with the battle close and personal, the Roman soldier would prepare by clothing himself with a suit of armor. Along with all his protective gear, it was important for him to know who his enemy was lest he mistakenly overlooks the threat facing him. He needed to know his strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. A soldier who was not prepared either with an awareness of his enemy or the protective gear needed in battle would soon fall to the hand of his attacker.

Such is the imagery Paul utilizes to prepare us for the spiritual battlefield. No less dangerous and threatening to our life is the spiritual battle that we find ourselves in. However, in the spiritual battle, we are fighting against a far superior and deadly enemy. The enemy we fight against is spiritual, and his deceptive schemes are crafty, seeking to attack us at our most vulnerable place. While a physical enemy can be attacked with earthly means, how do we fight against a spiritual power whose power and influence reach the heavens? Furthermore, he lurks and preys upon us at every moment of our life. There is no time when he is not lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce with his devious enticements. His strategy is to tempt us continually in the areas we are most weak. Peter pictures our adversary as one who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:9). Using the analogy of a Roman Soldier who protects himself when entering the battle, we prepare for the spiritual struggle with spiritual armor. In our struggle with temptation, we are not powerless or unprotected. God has given us all the tools we need for protection. Because the battle is spiritual, it is a battle of the mind and truth. In an age of deception and misinformation, we need to gird ourselves with the everlasting truth of God. We need to clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ given to us. We need to be ready to proclaim the gospel and stand firm against the attacks of God by being strong in our faith. Offensively, we are to ground ourselves in scripture in order to find strength, wisdom, and guidance. When we base our life on the truth of the Bible, we render the deception of Satan powerless.

We struggle with temptation because we have an enemy that is not passive, but one hidden yet continually seeking to undermine our faith and obedience. Because of God's power present in us, we do not need to fear him, but we do need to remain vigilant and watchful of his activities. Only when we have prepared by protecting ourselves with the spiritual armor of God can we resist the temptations he throws at us. Each day we need to prepare for the battle by clothing ourselves with the truth of God. Then when we face the struggles and temptations of the day, we can stand firm.

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