A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong. (Tecumseh)
If you have ever tried to resist temptation with one tactic repeatedly, finding it just didn't work as well as it should have, it is probably because we need more than one 'twig' in our bundle of 'temptation resistors'. Temptation comes at us one way today, another tomorrow. Each time it comes, we need the 'right' tactic to resist it. It could just be that the 'tactic' you have been utilizing is no longer working because your 'enemy' knows that tactic well enough to 'skirt it'.
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. (James 1:12-15)
I used to think the 'enemy' of my soul was just the devil, but I have long since come to realize that my own desires can be an even greater enemy at times! When we don't acknowledge that we have desires that might be a little too 'self-directed' and oftentimes even 'self-defeating', we won't develop any tactics to overcome those types of temptations (the ones from within). Yes, we have an enemy (the devil) who'd like nothing more than to see us trip and fall, then live under a load of guilt and shame for having fallen. We have an 'internal enemy' we often blame for our falling, giving the devil just a bit more credit than he is due!
If all our tactics to deal with temptation are designed to tell Satan to get behind us, we might just be missing the ones we need to tell our inner 'lusts and desires' to get squared away! Satan doesn't tempt me to cheat on my diet - my inner 'lusts and desires' do. Satan doesn't tempt me to overspend - my lack of self-control does. Are you beginning to understand? We need 'many twigs' in our bundle of tactics - those that address the outright attack by our enemy (Satan) and our own 'self-defeating' lusts and desires. Once we realize there are different 'forces' at work, we can ask God to help us formulate the best plan, so we are prepared for either type! Just sayin!
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