1 Peter 5:8,
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
The enemy may be sly, but original, he's not! He's actually quite predictable. Nonetheless, we can never be too cautious when it comes to his advances. Satan is great at creating stumbling blocks and knows exactly what our weaknesses are. So, just when we think everything is fine, he strikes. Then, the moment we surrender to temptation, he fills our heads with shame and regret. When we feel as if we're the only ones struggling (another of Satan's lies), we tend to run away from exactly what we should be running toward. In our secret shame, we avoid situations, people and resources that can help us the most. Sadly, feeling as if God is mad at us, we try to dodge him, too. But it's not true! When we are tempted, we need to run toward God, his people, and his church. We are never too lost or too far gone to be recipients of God's love and grace. Jesus died and rose again for your sins to be forgiven. So, don't buy Satan's lies! Instead, cling to our great God of comfort and second chances!
The best way to avoid Satan's trap is to keep short accounts with God when it comes to sin. Take a "sin-ventory" and confess your sins to God. Come clean and pray for the power to overcome such temptations moving forward. And, commit to building relationships where you can share your struggles and find wisdom and encouragement. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel with a clean slate and a solid support system!
Dear Lord, thank you for accepting me and loving me despite my worst tendencies. Today, I lift up the following sins: _________. Help me to identify any behavioral or situational triggers that lead me astray and guide my steps along your path of righteousness. In Jesus' name, Amen.