Sin knows you.
It knows the time of day you are receptive to its call. Should it come first thing in the morning or during that work lull or immediately before bed? It knows.
It knows the strategy for when you’re with people. Are you more easily agitated by co-workers or family members? Christians or non-Christians? Spouse or kids? Loud and abrasive personalities or quiet and passive-aggressive? Sin knows.
It knows the strategy for when you’re alone. How would you attack you? You probably already know the answer. So does sin.
It knows your idols. It knows what tempts you to walk away from God. To abandon God is apostasy, which is why sin never calls it by that name. Sin will call your idols by a million different names. But sin’s goal for you is idolatry and apostasy.
It knows what words work. “It’s not that big a deal.” “Just give in, get it over with, and then you can get back to life.” “How about do it today and then stop tomorrow?” “God will forgive it.” “Are you going to be able to resist this for the rest of the day? Tomorrow too? Really?!”
And what words make it worse afterwards. “See. You’ll never beat this.” “How could you!” “And you call yourself a ‘Christian.’” “You better not tell anyone.”
And it knows when to mount a vicious attack. Picture the wounded or isolated or weak zebra amidst a pack of lions.
It knows how to strategize. Imagine two sports teams. Would a team run the same play over and over again? Only if it works. Right? But if it doesn’t work, the team changes its attack. So does sin.
Sin will wait out today if it can inflict greater harm tomorrow. It’ll wait out the retreat or service in order to attack in the car ride home. It’ll wait until the tiredness of a long day’s work sets in and defenses are lowered.
Sin knows stuff. Stuff about you. So we must be prepared for when and how and where sin chooses to attack.
Quite frankly, though, sometimes fighting sin is not an isolated attack. It’s not “step 1 – temptation comes, step 2 – it’s resisted, step 3 – go about your day.” Instead it is a consuming battle. For a day. For several days.
Sometimes fighting sin is bacon*. It’s tempting regardless of the time of the day – morning, noon, or night. It’s tempting regardless of how it is presented – hot, cold, dark and crispy, fat and undercooked, with eggs or on burgers. It’s tempting with or without people present. It’s tempting whether you’ve already had some that day or haven’t had it for months or years. One strip becomes two, becomes six, and then the count is lost. Bacon is an area of weakness, period. It sounds good all the time.
So you must know sin’s tricks. Because sin knows you.
QUESTION: What is one thing you’ve learned about fighting sin that you could share to help someone else out?
*If bacon ain’t your thing, choose something that you perpetually have a desire for.