Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Isaiah 26:8 says that the Lord gives strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. The battle is in our thoughts. It is essential to remember that all temptations play on our thoughts. Let’s see how this works.
Sampson was extraordinarily physically strong. Yet, in the face of temptations, he was spiritually weak. The Philistines asked Delilah to find out where Sampson’s strength came from. Judges 16:5 says, “…Entice him, and find out where his great strength lies…” They believed that if they knew his source they could conquer him. Listen to the rest of the verse. “…and by what means we may bind him to afflict him…”
What did Sampson do? He was cocky. It seems that he was very sure of himself. However, he was blind before they put his eyes out. His sensitivity to the Holy Spirit was dulled because of his association with evil. Verse 20 says, “…I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free! But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”
Let’s go to another scene. Adam was commanded to not eat of a certain tree in the garden. Genesis 2:17 says, “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Scripture does not tell us, but I like to think that Adam warned Eve to not eat of the tree. Yet, when she was tempted by the serpent, note how the temptation played on her mind.
Genesis 3:6 says, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”1 John 2:15-16 gives us companion verses. Verse 15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Before salvation we loved the world’s words, ways, and activities. We were in the world and the world was in us. We operated from verse 16 which says, “For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Our true spiritual strength lies in our communion with the Lord. John 15:1-8 is about abiding in the Vine. In abiding, we are submitted to the One who carefully inspects under our leaves for eroding pests. He lovingly prunes fruitful branches so we can bear more fruit. Verse 5 says that without Him we can do nothing.
What temptations draw you away from your quiet time with the Lord? What plays on your mind? What are your distractions? The Holy Spirit showed me something this morning. When tempted, if we immediately renew our mind, we will escape the snare.
I usually use Scripture when I’m faced with adversity. It bubbles up because it is hidden in my heart. Yet, consider this. A temptation plays on our mind and draws us into a winding up type dialogue that increases the power of the temptation. Right then, we ‘renew’ our mind by rehearsing the opposite. It will make our mind reverse, unwind, and go the opposite direction of the temptation. Experiential truth keeps us free!