Strategies to Defeat Temptation - Part 1Aug 02, 2023
Are you a proactive person or a reactive person? Someone who takes a reactive approach to life goes with the flow and reacts as things happen, while a proactive person plans ahead for what might happen. For example, a reactive business owner responds to changes in the stock market as they happen. He assumes the market will always be good, so he will struggle when there’s a downturn. The proactive business owner plans ahead for both good and bad market activity. He has a “rainy day fund” set aside to get him through a difficult season.
It’s much the same in our spiritual life. We can either be reactive and face the issues as they come, or we can be proactive and set ourselves up to win.
In 2 Samuel, we learn from King David that there are proactive things we can do to help us avoid temptation. At this time in his life, David is about 50 years old. He’s been a good king and a courageous leader. He’s a giant slayer. The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. But in our text today, David faces temptation and fails miserably, so we need to learn from him what we can do differently.
1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” (2 Samuel 11:1-5)
At the very beginning of this story, it says that it was the time when kings go out to battle. In David’s time, there was a season for warfare, and that was when the weather was warm. When it was cold, the armies went home and cared for their families. But when the temperature increased, it was time to go to battle. Even though it was time for the armies to go to battle, David didn’t go. He sent them into battle, but he stayed home to lay on the couch.
Proactive Strategy #1: Put Yourself in the Right Environments.
David should have been leading his men like every other king. He was in the bedroom instead of in the battle. Perhaps you’ve made a similar mistake. Some of us are in the bedroom, only concerned about ourselves and our needs instead of the battle God wants us to fight for our family and our community.
Like David, you need to be in the right environment. Regular church attendance is one of the most important habits you can establish in life. Join a small group at your church so that you can develop healthy relationships that encourage your growth. If you are consistently in church and attending a small group you will set yourself up for success.
Why wasn’t David in the right environment? Maybe he was simply comfortable. He’s the wealthiest guy around. He’s a king. He has a palace. He had everything one could possibly desire. Because of all the comfort and luxuries, he was in a season of being selfish and perhaps even lazy.
Sometimes comfort can be a curse. Maybe you may have an income that takes care of your family. You’ve essentially got everything that you need. You’re tempted to take it easy. Your prayer life becomes non-existent. Your church attendance becomes sporadic. Reading the Bible is no longer a priority; You expect God’s blessing to continue as you roll down the road as if there’s no spiritual battle in your life. Comfort sets us up for failure because it causes us to lose that edge.
Even churches can become comfortable. We want to see more people come to faith and be added to the kingdom of God, but we get comfortable, and we don’t want anyone to mess with our service times or where we park. We don’t leave our comfort zones to give sacrificially or serve. As a result, the church doesn’t make an impact.
David is comfortable, and he’s lost his edge. Here’s David lying on the couch, being lazy. When he finally gets up, he goes out on the terrace and sees a woman bathing. She’s beautiful. The first look is by accident, but then he continues to look. Next, he begins to ask questions about her. He discovers she’s married, but that doesn’t stop him. He doesn’t care. Eventually, David sends for Bathsheba. Since he’s the king, she has to go to him, and David sleeps with her.
How does it get to this point? It doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to commit adultery. It happens over time. It’s the text message that you might send. The DM on Snapchat. It’s strategically placing yourself at work to run into a certain person so you can have a conversation with them. It’s flirting a little bit at a time. It’s neglecting your own spouse, running away from God, and not putting yourself in the right environment. All of these things are part of this slow fade into devastating sin.
If you’re not putting yourself in the right environments, you’re setting yourself up to fail. You will avoid many temptations the enemy throws your way just by putting yourself in the right environment. The enemy is trying to destroy your future, don’t help him out by being lazy and staying at home.