The art of self-defeat

It may seem as though one should lean back and relax since one is on God’s side and in an infinitely better position than the enemy. On the contrary, that is reason for extreme vigilance. I think I am most attractive to the enemy and most vulnerable when I am fully in sync with God, not when I am weakest.

I face an enemy that is not as strong as I, given whose I am; an enemy so incapacitated that he is unable to mount an effective offensive against me from without. Should this not make me complacent? It should if I did not face an enemy highly skilled in getting me to use my own hands and mind to cause my own defeat. This enemy cannot force defeat on me and we see this from Adam and Eve until the present. But he has the ability to turn me against myself. This is grounds for extreme vigilance.

We mostly anticipate attacks from without but we have a very intelligent adversary skilled in warfare, whose main strategy is to tamper with our minds and cause us to use our superior strengths and capabilities against ourselves. If my problems came from without, they could be easily handled but what if I am the cause of my own defeat and I do not even know?

The adversary tried and succeeded with the first Adam and due to its effectiveness, he stuck to the same strategy ever since. He tried the same strategy with the last Adam. He knew he was no match for an offspring of God as both Adams were. All he could do was try to get these sons of God to become their own undoing. It is a good thing the last Adam was not ignorant of his methods.

A name for this strategy is temptation. I think the aim of temptation is to cause me to use my own hands to undo myself. This calls for vigilance, an internally focused vigilance since I could very easily become my own worst enemy and not know it. For the adversary, this is efficient and less costly, considering his resources are limited.

We are offsprings of an omnipotent Father facing a limited adversary, whose strategies can be fully understood and therefore contained. Yet, we experience defeat more often than we experience victory. How come?

My strengths and superior advantages can cause me to be at ease knowing that I belong to and am loved by an omnipotent Father. Rather, my strengths and superior advantages should cause me to be humble, sober and vigilant since those superior advantages can be used by me against me, unknowingly.

6 thoughts on “The art of self-defeat

  1. Waow! "…But he has the ability to turn me against myself. This is grounds for extreme vigilance."I've often wondered to myself that I am my own worst enemy. Now, I understand why this is.

  2. Yes he does…and we look for the enemy everywhere but within, thereby perpetuating defeat without an external enemy. It is why we should be aware of his devices and methods of operation.It is chilling to realize the devil is not the enemy to go after…He is unable to attack me without my help.

  3. Samson's problem wasn't Delilah. It was himself. He had an unbridled lust for life. When we focus solely on Delilah, we detach ourselves from the source of the problem and therefore give the enemy a wide berth to trap us in his lair.Our strengths could place us on display for a set-up by the enemy. Like you said, it takes vigilance, a knowledge of the enemy's strategies and a total dependence on the Spirit of God.May God help us!

  4. Beautifully said. Samson's problem was not Delilah but himself. I referred to that in my latest post, which is a continuation of this.The enemy wants us to think the problem is outside, that Delilah is the problem when in truth, "…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." Your first sentence paraphrases James1:14.Amen and thank you again, MOH, for your thoughtful comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *