Like a modern-day postcard of James’ letter to the 12 tribes, this picture communicates profound wisdom. The message is increasing relevant and desperately needed in this wired world. If you spend a good portion of time on the Internet, how you receive and respond to it may be the difference between living out your faith online and losing it.
Your ears, eyes, and mouth are portals to the soul and every day, you decide how to regulate what goes in and what comes out. How many times have you done an innocent Google search and among the results you find something far different from what you intended? Exactly.
The Real Danger
You need to understand dear one, you’re only a click or two away from content that is dangerous and deadly. When you entertain temptation online, the enemy drags you to the place where evil desires are conceived, sin is born, and destruction follows.
For example, consider the impact of Internet pornography. It delivers one of the deadliest assaults with its gripping addiction. The consequences include abnormal desires, wrecked relationships, fallen leaders, and shattered lives. The research on pornography released several years ago is painfully disturbing. It’s heartbreaking to sort through the statistics. And even though in June of 2011, it was reported that social media activity has displaced porn as the top online activity – don’t be deceived or fooled. The dangers remain real and more life-threatening than ever.
No different from any other mission field, when you’re online you must be aware of the terrain and fully present to avoid the traps.
- Take action now.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to build a firewall of protection around you and your family.
- Execute this ten-point power plan for resisting evil and overcoming temptation.
- Memorize these scriptures and be infused with Divine power and strength.
#1. Know the Word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
#2. Clean house. Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is prevalent and humbly receive the word that was planted in you, which can save you. – James 1:21
#3. Confess sin. He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. – Proverb 28:13
#4. Receive forgiveness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9
#5. Profess faith. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
#6. Suit up. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. – Ephesians 6:10,11,16
#7. Stand guard. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8,9
#8. Submit and resist. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you – James 4:7
#9. Sprint to the exit. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. – I Corinthians 10:12,13
#10. Give praise for the victory. God is greater than all evil. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – I John 4:4
How are you guarding your heart and resisting online temptations?
Editor’s note: If you struggle with temptation in the area of sexuality or pornography, we encourage you to reach out to Celebrate Recovery to find a recovery ministry in your area, and consider getting additional help from online sources.