It is disturbing to me when I hear of Christians, especially those in a Christian profession, getting caught up in moral failure. Or hear of them supporting something that is plainly identified in Scripture as sin. My first thought is “How could this possibly happen!”
In my book (Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice), a quote from Thomas à Kempis (1380-1417, a Medieval Catholic monk) reveals a partial answer to my question!
Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks. Someone has said very aptly: ‘Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength.’ First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him. FD 3rd edition, p. 66
Reading the above quote leads me to another question. How can we avoid giving into temptation in its beginnings? The following excerpt from my book provides the whole of the answer.
Again, I must emphasize the necessity to persevere in prayer and Bible study! We must grasp the fact that there is no other substitute. As we fellowship and worship in these two disciplines, everything we experience in life will be filtered through what we learn there. What we teach our children, how we define true love, how we view ourselves, our marriages, how we deal with difficulties, etc., will all be influenced by what we learn from God’s Word and prayer. p. 91, 3rd ed Fiery Darts
The plain and simple truth of the matter is that without the filter of consistent prayer and Bible study, we won’t possess the wisdom and/or the strength to recognize the fiery darts of temptation’s first call. Therefore to avoid allowing Satan to gain full entry, it would be wise to ponder the following question:
What filter will supply me with the wisdom and/or strength to recognize and resist the fiery darts of temptation?