What gave Indiana Jones the confidence and “sober spirit” to face his whip-lashing Goliath? He didn’t have a sling and five smooth stones, but he did have a gun—a much more effective and lethal weapon than a whip. He knew the giant was all bluster and show, a mere exhibition designed to weaken him with fright so he wouldn’t think clearly. It didn’t work because Indy felt the pressure of the steel at his side.
So how do we fight temptation? With a sober spirit and the pressure of steel at our side. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be sober of spirit (calm, dispassionate, objective so as to think clearly) and alert (mind in the game). Why? Because our enemy, our opponent lives to accuse us. He prowls around like a roaring lion. I’ve never heard a lion roar but I’m guessing it’s pretty loud. It’s meant for show, to demonstrate how fearsome he is and make his enemies tremble. Sound like Goliath? Sound like temptation?
Keep reading. 2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us we have everything we need to fight temptation. Did you catch that? We have everything we need! It says God’s divine power is at our disposal, providing everything we need for life and godliness. We access that power through our relationship with Him, knowing His promises and what His word says. We have his Spirit inside us, his divine nature, that empowers us to escape the world’s corrupting influences of lust and greed!
The Holy Spirit within us. His word–read, studied, memorized—the steel at our side, more powerful and lethal than any loud roaring.
So how do we fight temptation?
- Be mentally prepared. Temptation is coming. It will strike. Know its approaches—how, when, where. Expect it, and plan your response.
- Be sober of spirit. Stay calm, objective. Recognize it’s all show, designed to make you feel weak and powerless. But you have everything you need to fight–the Spirit’s power and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Feel that steel at your side. Stand up straight, roll your eyes, utter some scripture to show your disdain, and kill it!