“If I were your enemy, I’d tempt you toward certain sins, making you believe they are basically (even biologically) unavoidable. I’d study your tendencies and proclivities till I learned the precise conditions that make you the most likely to indulge them. And then I’d strike right there. Again and again. Wear you down. Because if I can’t separate you from God forever, I can at least set you at odds with Him for the time being” –Priscilla Shirer, Fervent (119).
Wow! This has been my favorite chapter so far! If you are new to One Thing or haven’t stopped by lately, I’m reading and reviewing Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. In her book, Shirer looks at ten strategies that the enemy uses to keep us distracted and displaced from God’s will for our lives. She reminds us that as God’s children, we are in a war, but we can learn how to use the weapons of our warfare (Ephesians 6) to fight back through prayer. After all, Satan has already been defeated and disarmed; his strategies against us don’t have to be successful if we can recognize them.
Tonight I am sharing a few thoughts on “Strategy 7–Your Purity: Staying Strong in Your Most Susceptible Places.” In this chapter, Shirer exposes the enemy’s strategy to tempt and lure us when we are “exhausted or hungry or lonely.” Can I get an amen? If you have ever struggled with a particular recurring sin in your life, then you can identify here. She reminds us of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness when our Lord was also physically tired and hungry–not a coincidence!
“Precision, personalization, and persistence. He’s always scouting for what Luke’s Gospel describes as the ‘opportune time'” (121).
The first step for us is awareness. We must see these strategies for what they are–not coincidences but tactics from hell. Shirer says that Satan wants us to believe that sin is normal and not really a big deal–especially those little impurities that don’t really affect anyone else–but nothing could be further from the truth.
Sin separates us from intimacy with God, but righteousness brings blessings and favor. Shirer shares how we can “deliberately strategize in prayer for the daily, ongoing protection of our purity.” This next step requires listing those areas of sin that we struggle with and then applying the Scriptures she shares at the end of the chapter to our prayers.
We all struggle with sin, but we can overcome. No, we won’t ever reach perfection, but as women of God, we should be striving to live a pure life in right standing with God so that we can walk in the peace and favor He has for us. How else will the world know that they need Jesus? How else will our prayers be effective?
“Prayers that have power come from a person in pursuit of righteous living. Yes, righteousness matters” (123).
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