The Point of Purity Podcast

Episode #35 - Battle Tactics 101

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Episode #35 "Battle Tactics 101"


Why is it so important that God is in charge of every facet of my life? Why is it so difficult to always let go and let God be the final authority over my life? I’ve got a News Flash for you: This life isn’t about YOU. It never was and it never will be. Ok, I know, not actually a “News Flash” but we do tend to try to make it all about us don’t we!

Welcome to today’s episode of the Point of Purity Podcast. A weekly study filled to the brim with the all the tools from Scripture you will ever need to build a lasting life of Biblical purity.

I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. C’mon in, grab your Bible, and join us as we sit in on “Battle Tactics 101”!

(01:00) Learn to Live

We tend to desire, we want, we long for the things that we think we “need” because we’re somehow convinced those things will in some way make life better and we can finally feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied.

If you are going to live the life God has called you to live – a life that glorifies Him, you must understand that this life isn’t about you. You do not reign at the center of any universe (real or imaginary). And yet – be honest now, all too often you are under the false impression that you do. We all tend to think that our primary objective, our purpose of existence, is to enjoy life, to be happy, to experience satisfaction and fulfillment.

As a result - when bad things happen, when circumstances or people interfere with our goal of happiness, our world suddenly comes crashing down around us and we are desperate to put it all back together.

Now don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to enjoy life, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be happy, and experience satisfaction. However, I am saying that should not be your ultimate goal. Happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, enjoyment out of life is not the purpose or end result. I am also saying that when you make life all about God, that’s when you will truly enjoy life. Focusing all of your life around God is when you will experience true happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction!

To be a real, genuine, honest-to-goodness servant of God you must first get yourself off the throne of your heart. And you must learn to Live for God. Only then will you be able to be all that you can be. Only then will you truly glorify your Heavenly Father. Because only then will you be doing what you were designed and created to do!

(04:36) Oh Boy is He Coy

In Ephesians 6:12 Paul points out the fact that we are wrestling against “the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” In short, we are engaged in a spiritual battle with a very powerful, very ancient, and very evil foe—none other than the Devil himself. God commands us to “Be self-controlled and alert” – why? because your #1 enemy, the Devil, “prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour”, (1 Peter 5:8) and his eyes are fixed on you! But why?

God wants you to glorify Him (1 Corinthians 10:31) — Satan does not. Let me repeat that. Satan is not necessarily wanting you to bow down and worship him (although I’m pretty sure he’d welcome that), he just doesn’t want you to worship God. He doesn’t want God to receive any of the glory, so he’s going to pull out all the stops to make sure you don’t give it to Him.

But he is coy—oh, boy, is he subtle, he’s crafty, and he is devious. Very rarely will he use a frontal assault against you. That’s too obvious, it’s too blatant, it’s in-your-face. He knows that you’ll defend yourself from such an attack. So, instead he uses guerilla warfare. He deploys his little minions with instructions to play around with your mind. He encourages you to make the choice all on your little lonesome to serve King Me.

Let’s take a moment and unpack Genesis 4:7 which says: “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” You may remember us doing a deep dive into Genesis 4:7 back in episodes 8 and 9. So, I’m not going to go deep in this episode, but there are some things I want to point out here.

Every moment of every day, you have choices to make. Do I listen to King Me and do what I want to do, or do I dethrone the King and choose to live in obedience to my Heavenly Father? “If you do what is right,” God stands ready to bless you. However, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you. You must rule over it.” The choice is yours. The choice is always yours. What choices are you making? (by the way, if you would like to learn more about how to make the right choices, I encourage you to take my Christian Growth Academy 9-lesson course entitled “How to Overcome ANY Temptation in Your Life” ... you can find it at Christian Growth Academy .com)

What a powerful picture God creates here in Genesis 4:7! Sin is like a beast crouching at your door. Peter tells us the Devil is like a lion. That lion is hunkered down in the tall grass just outside the door of your heart. Every muscle is taut with anticipation, ready to pounce the moment you choose to ignore God. Its blood-red eyes are reduced to mere slits as it unflinchingly stares at you. Its hot breath steams out of its nostrils, its lips curled back in a feral grin as its fangs drip acid. You can almost hear it eerily hissssssing as it drips to the ground. The beast desires to have you. It is patiently sitting there, waiting for you to act in a way that honors King Me instead of God. As soon as you do … BAM!

Never forget, Satan is an old pro at this. He knows what he’s doing—but so do we. (2 Corinthians 2:11) “We are not unaware of his schemes (tactics).” Let’s take a few moments here to look at just 6 of the evil, guerilla-warfare battle tactics he likes to use on us:

(11:24) Battle Tactic #1

He makes the sinful world system you live in seem desirable, appealing, tantalizing. Many people who profess Christ as their Savior begin their Christian life desiring God. They are all gung-ho for Christ. To look at them, you’d say they were “on fire for God.”

Soon afterward, in steps the enemy who tempts them to focus on worldly things. Those things that the world provides begin to feel more attractive and desirable than all that Christ has to offer. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, King Me crawls up onto the throne and takes over.

Jesus put it this way: “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” (Matthew 13:20-21)

(12:49) Battle Tactic #2

He loves to play on your self-preservation instincts. He tempts you to fear the consequences of a life centered around God. He wants you to worry about the high cost of obedience. He tries to convince you that God wants you to suffer. He deceptively whispers, “If you surrender it all to God, He’ll take it away from you and you’ll have nothing left – your life won’t be worth living! You’ll end up being bored out of your skull.” You see, Satan wants you to believe that God’s definition of “blessings” is not really a blessing at all. No blessings – just burdens.

Here is a question for you to seriously consider: What happens when you choose to believe Satan’s lie that God’s “blessings” aren’t worth the trouble?

(14:00) Battle Tactic #3

He tries to convince you to focus on what a great burden it is to live for Christ. It’s too hard to pray; it’s too difficult to spend quality time with the Lord; it’s too challenging to study the Bible every day, and it’s nearly impossible to memorize Scripture. God’s just asking too much of me. The result is a lackluster attempt to be godly that eventually leads you to just give up trying.

(14:45) Battle Tactic #4

He points out that those who are the most dedicated and committed to God are also the ones who are struggling the most in life. He whispers in your ear that if you give your life completely over to God, He’s going to take away your house, your car, your cushy job, your health, and even your bank account. What kind of a God is that?

Now here’s another question to think on: Why do I sometimes worry about what God “might do” with my possessions if I choose to fully live for Him?

(15:31) Battle Tactic #5

Every time you try to focus on worshiping God with your life, he fills your mind with all kinds of distractions. He brings in everyday things to convince you that you have no time, and thus no desire to read your Bible or pray. “I’ll do that boring stuff later.”

Think about this: When I say, “I want to read my Bible and pray, I want to serve Christ, but I just don’t have the time,” what is it I’m really saying?

(16:57) Battle Tactic #6

He strongly encourages you to rest on your past victories and past achievements. He reminds you how enthusiastic you were for God just last month. He points out to you just how much of your precious time you’ve actually sacrificed for God ... how deeply into Bible study you were, and all that you’ve done in the church. At the same time, he convinces you that you’ve earned the right to coast—to sit back and take a break “just for a little while. After all, I’ve done my time … it’s someone else’s turn.”

In every tactic we’ve talked about, can you see where King Me is sitting on the throne? Can you see where the enemy has duped you into believing it’s all about you? Whether you realize it or not, this conflict isn’t just happening in the unknown, unseen realms around you. This isn’t Angels vs. Demons. This isn’t the host of Heaven battling against the forces of evil over the final destination of your soul. This is spiritual warfare - and it’s happening in the living room of your heart.

This battle isn’t being fought only by your pastor, the elders, or deacons of your church, and other “deeply spiritual saints.” You are not an innocent bystander, experiencing the unfortunate side effects of someone else’s war. You are on the front lines. The enemy is engaging you. You cannot “sit this one out!”

(18:54) Secured in My Security

Now consider this next point carefully: As a born-again child of God, your soul is secured in God’s grace, His mercy, His love, and His forgiveness. Satan can’t have you, and he knows that.

Watch this now: Getting you is not his endgame. That’s not his ultimate goal. He’s not trying to take you down because he sees you as this colossal threat to his plan of world-domination. If you’re a born-again believer, Satan knows you’re a child of God, and that God will never let him have you. But that is exactly why he is hitting you with everything he’s got. Confused? Hear me out.

  • Who does Satan hate more than anyone or anything else in the universe? Hint: it’s not you. Answer? God!
  • Who does Satan want to hurt more than anyone else? Hint: it’s still not you. Answer? GOD!
  • Satan has had it out for God since the very beginning.
  • Satan knows that God loves you—you are the apple of His eye—God would do anything for you.
  • So, it stands to reason that if God loves you that much, and Satan wants to hurt God so deeply—what better way to do that, than to attack the love of God’s heart—you? Satan wants to hurt God by hurting you.

Now consider this: The Devil is blitzing you with everything he’s got, not to attack your soul but to defeat your mind. Satan knows that if he can impress your thinking, he’ll impact your living. He knows that what you think will greatly influence what you do.

(21:07) Think What You Want

At the root of all our sinful behavior is wrong thinking. We do what we do because in our hearts we want what we want.

No matter what sin issue you may be struggling with, at the heart of it all you’ll find King Me. When King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, you’re worshipping the wrong god.

  • You battle with anger because you are worshipping the wrong god.
  • You struggle with lust because you are worshipping the wrong god.
  • You are overcome by worry because you are worshipping the wrong god.
  • You have a problem with gluttony because you are worshipping the wrong god.
  • You covet and steal because you are worshipping the wrong god.
  • You (can fill in the blank with whatever sin you’re facing) and you can be guaranteed it’s because you are worshipping the wrong god.

That false god you’re worshipping isn’t anger, it isn’t lust, or worry, or gluttony, or any of a ton of other things. Those are just the byproduct of your worship disorder. The false god you’re worshipping is none other than King Me. When King me is on the throne of your heart, you will worship King me.

In our upcoming episodes we will dive much deeper into this truth. For now, if you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at (repeat)

One of those resources I would like to highlight for you today is my online course entitled “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You see, saying “No” and choosing to live in an upright and godly life is a daily decision you must make. Every time you are faced with a temptation, you are also faced with a decision: Do I give in, or do I stand firm in my faith and fight it? Do I yield to the Spirit and glorify God, or do I focus on self and give in to my fleshly desires?

In this 9-lesson online course, “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory,” – you will discover, in a very clear and practical way, how to live a life that is holy and pure, how to say no to sin and live in full and complete surrender to God. This 9-week course is available right now for only $55 at Christian Growth

So I encourage you to visit Christian Growth and purchase your place in this online course so you can discover how to “Overcome Temptation” and consistently live the life God has called you to live. A life of holiness. A life of godliness. A life that honors and glorifies God. A life of freedom!

(24:27) Closing Soundtrack

Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast. If this has ministered to you, if this has blessed you, challenged you, or encouraged you I ask you to do two things. First of all – would you please let your friends know about The Point of Purity Podcast. Help us help men and women across the globe win their war for sexual purity and live in freedom.

Then second, and this is so important, please take a few seconds right now to go over to your favorite Podcast Player and rate our program and this episode – why? because every time you do, your rating lets them know this podcast is important, it is valuable, and your ratings helps us get this program and this ministry into the ears and hearts of people just like you. So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.

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