What Makes You Vulnerable to Temptation?
By Rick Warren
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).
If you want to be able to fight the persistent temptations in your life, you need to know what makes you vulnerable to Satan’s efforts.
Ephesians 4:27 says, “Do not give the devil a foothold” (NIV). Don’t give Satan a place in your life to start leveraging your weaknesses and get you messed up.
What’s the most common foothold you can give Satan that allows him to push all these temptations? It’s any negative emotion. Anytime you have a negative emotion, you’ve just given Satan a foothold in your life, and you’re going to be more vulnerable than at any other time to temptation. That’s why the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV).
Your heart sits at the center of your emotions. But to defeat temptation, don’t focus on your behavior and what you’re about to do. Instead, identify the thoughts you’re having and the feelings that come out of those thoughts.
That’s how Satan hooks you—not with your behavior but with your thoughts. He plays with your emotions every day of your life. He hooks your feelings. He is a master manipulator of your moods. Satan gets certain emotions stirring by influencing your thoughts and causing you to doubt God’s Word.
Once he’s got you emotionally involved, you’re cooked. When your emotions have kicked in, the behavior is going to happen. Satan knows your negative emotions will lead you to sin.
You are far more vulnerable to temptation when you’re experiencing negative emotions. Satan knows what they are and will work them for your destruction. Shouldn’t you know what they are, too?
The only way you’ll be able to fight any persistent temptation in your life is to identify the emotions that make you vulnerable. Then, refocus your mind on God’s Word so that you can replace those negative emotions with God’s love.
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