Have you ever felt overwhelmed by thoughts and temptations that you knew you didn't want to think about? Then, after feeling defeated, you began to question what you are doing wrong. I'm very aware and very familiar of this cycle. I too went through a season when I was frustrated at the amount of temptations that came from seemingly every angle of life. It felt as if my 'old man' never left and I began to reason;
“Maybe I'm doing this wrong!”
I questioned why I was being tempted and believed that I simply wasn't focusing on God enough. Even worse, I began to equate temptation with sin. I believed that anytime a thought came to my mind or that I was tempted in some way;
It was me.
I was sinning.
I was no good.
I was rotten.
If you can relate to that, I want to tell you, that is so far from the truth.
Speaking of Jesus, the apostle Paul says that He,
has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. -Hebrews 4:15
That means that you can be tempted and still not sin. It doesn't mean you’re not good enough. It doesn't mean you are not saved. It doesn't mean that you are far away from God.
On the contrary, the fact that you are being tempted in a certain area is probably because you are walking into a Promise Land. A land that may have been occupied by the enemy before. A land that he may have been wreaking havoc in before, but here you are, showing up with God by your side. He knows that you are an overcomer. Now the only thing he can do is shoot some flaming arrows at you.
Here's what the word says. Ephesians 6:16 says “Take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows from the evil one.”
So check this out, I don't want you to miss this. Pay attention: If a flaming arrow passes your shield of faith it doesn't stop there. You see because the next verse, Ephesians 6:17 says that you should “Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Now, the word sword in the Greek isn’t actually a sword that you would take up and use both hands with. No, it is the word for “dagger”. It is the type of dagger that the Roman soldiers would carry on them to be able to dig out any arrows that would pierce their armor.
What God is actually saying here is that if by chance, any flaming arrows, any lies from the enemy, passes through your faith and actually pierces you, you still have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. You still have your dagger to be able to dig that flaming arrow out. So you flip to the word of God and you find the promises that He’s speaking to you. You find the actual truths that he is saying about you.
You see, the devil is called an accuser and a liar in the Bible for a reason. If you ever want to know the truth, if you are ever curious about what the truth is you just go ahead and hear what he is saying to you, flip it, and you have your answer. Flip whatever the enemy is telling you right now and that's the truth. Men, be encouraged! If the enemy is trying to come at you it's probably for a reason. It’s probably because you are gaining ground in an area that he occupied before. He knows how dangerous you would be if you actually stepped into your identity in that area. He knows he must do everything he can to be able to keep you out of that. So he starts to throw these flaming arrows at you, makes sure that you keep at a distance from the area you are supposed to inhabit. He tells you that you are not worthy. That you are not the man that you should be; that you aren't a chosen one, that you aren't a saint.