A soldier walks into the office of the General. He stands erect and salutes the General.
General: Sit down soldier.
Soldier: Yes, sir.
General: So I understand that your platoon lost a skirmish yesterday. Several men died and many of your barely escaped. How are you feeling?
Soldier: Well, a little shaken up sir. But glad to be alive.
General: Tell me what happened.
Soldier: Well sir. we came down into the ravine to take out the surface to air missile sites. It was going well when we were ambushed. We fought as well as we could, but we were overwhelmed and outgunned.
General: What sort of weapons did the enemy have?
Soldier: Pistols sir.
General: They beat you with pistols?
Soldier: Yes sir. There were a lot of them.
General: Weren’t your rifles more than a match for pistols?
Soldier: Oh, I didn’t mention that. We didn’t bring our rifles. You see, it is a long walk and if we didn’t bring the rifles then we didn’t need to bring ammo and the whole walk would be more enjoyable.
General: You went to a battle without guns?
Soldier: Yes sir. Very innovative of us, don’t you think.
General: Innovative, sounds more like stupid. Even without the guns, what about those tanks I sent.
Soldier: We decided against taking them. You see, we all prefer the tanks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The tanks you sent just weren’t the kind we like.
General (with some irritation): With no tanks, how did the retreat go?
Soldier: Not well sir. We could only run slowly without boots.
General: You didn’t have boots?!
Soldier: Blisters sir. And most of us prefer flip-flops. Less sweaty feet that way.
General: How did you survive?
Soldier: Well, Calderazzo did bring a tank and he was able to scare them off. Though I have to say that when that thing fires, it could really cause a headache.
General: Now you’re complaining about the tank!
Soldier: The one in Call of Duty really is better.
General: Do you feel like there were any important lessons learned from this battle.
Soldier: Yes sir. Me and the guys want to ask you for more air support. We really feel like that would help a lot.
General: Get out of my office!
I think the conversation above is something like how God hears our complaints about giving in to temptation.
“God, how could you make such a tempting world?”
The answer might be to ask: Did you pray? Did you read scripture? Did you find support in other believers? Did you confess you sins? Did you fast?
When the answer to all of the above is No, then you should feel like the soldier who walked into battle without boots, without a gun, and without a clue. God has provided us everything we need to fight this battle. It is because of our foolishness that we turn what should be certain victory into certain defeat. Today, we put down the slingshot and put on our AK-47 and climb into our tank. Victory is not only possible, it can be assured.
The strongest weapon you have is always the radio back to base. They’ve got planes with bombs for quick action. Prayer is your radio back to God. Start your day with a check-in. Be real. Tell the General how it is going and what your concerns are. He cares about you. The air support is great because it is there at any moment. Are you in the thick of a battle? God wants to hear about it before, during, and after the fight. He loves you. Give prayer a chance.
This is a not a Sunday School answer. Do you think that the tank was a pat answer to the General above? Sure it’s the right answer to so many questions, but this is a right answer with a barrel and an armor-piercing shell in it. The Bible is what really fuels and gives your prayer it’s power. Promises like, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and “but God is faithful and he will provide a way to escape (temptation) so that you are able to bear it.” If you are not reading your Bible, don’t be surprised when you lose.
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:15-16
Confess your sins to God and confess the to other believers. This is key to victory. I think many an addict will ask God why he didn’t help more and God will look down at them and ask why they didn’t confess to other believers. Don’t be so spiritual that you think the church is unnecessary. The church is crucial. Go and confess to God and another believer.
Pro Tip: In my article How do I Stop Looking at Porn, I clarify that you MUST confess to your wife but that she should NOT be your ongoing accountability. Please don’t think that telling her alone is enough. It isn’t and you risk crushing her with the responsibility of helping you keep clean. Find someone else.
Hypocrisy Alert: I have never fasted, not even once, in my life. So take what I am about to say as wisdom I have heard from others. Not what I have experienced myself.
Fasting is a good tool for assisting someone to break away from an addiction. I have known men who went on fasts from sex to help them overcome a pornography addiction and they felt it was helpful. I can say that some of the most spiritual people I have known, they fast. If you are struggling in a rut, a fast very well may be the weapon you need to bring to this battle.
Gentlemen, there is grace for us. We have an armory full of joy that is stronger than our temptation. The question is whether we will put it on or walk into battle in flip-flops.
Hypocrisy Alert: This article could lead you to believe that I read my bible every morning and pray 16 times daily with a constant deep and indwelling sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence. This is simply not the case. I struggle to read my Bible and I struggle to pray. In this article, I am showing you where the armory is and, many times, I then walk into battle with my flip-flops.