Why is freedom so difficult?
(Hint: Seeds start small.)

Our Thoughts • Build desires within us, like FIRE on a stove-top
Our Emotions • Are like WATER in a tea kettle
Our Behavior • Is like the STEAM from a boiling tea kettle

What does scripture say?

James 1:14-15 

Our Thoughts • 14: but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  FIRE

Our Emotions • 15a: Then, after desire has conceived,…  WATER 

Our Behavior • 15b: … it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  STEAM 

Take our thought life captive to Christ!

Here are some topics expanded below


A word before going on…

Many of us have probably heard/read passages in scripture on temptation.  One thing that can make a difference is treating things we already know or have heard as new – so it will trickle down past our brains into our hearts.

Matthew 18:1-4  The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (treating spiritual things as new) 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


    • Advance Preparation – before we’re tempted

      • Spiritual armor

      • Militaries/Police Departments prepare in advance

      • Building defenses (like a wall around ancient Jerusalem)

      • What are our defenses now?

      • Are we learning, training spiritually, becoming spiritually disciplined?

      • What can I do? – suggestions

    • During Temptation – what we can do?

  • Repentance – should be quick and complete

  • Nature of Temptation – the temptation itself is not sin, but we must be aggressive in eliminating it.

Advance Preparation:

Military Analogy                              Roman Army of ancient times
Police Analogy                                Effective police departments
Spiritual Application                        What we can learn from this

  • Military or Police effectiveness is highly dependent upon ADVANCE PREPARATION FOR A KNOWN THREAT OR LIKELY THREAT.

  • Planning on being holy in advance (or resisting sin) is scriptural; just take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18.

  • A police officer knows when they put on a bullet-proof vest, it’s because they may face danger. The vest protects them.

  • The spiritual armor in the scripture above has to be put on BEFORE the battle.

Does my thought life stink? 

Wearing armor and yet shooting myself in the leg

doesn’t make sense!


  • The strongest militaries in the world are strong only because they’ve prepared in advance for a known or likely threat.

  • The Roman Army of ancient times was renown for their tactics, strength and strategy.  We can draw spiritual lessons from ancient Rome, even though the Roman society had some severe problems and were bent in various ways.

    Ephesians 6-10-12

  • The Romans were so strong because they were prepared in advance for almost any threat (except the decline of their own society) by any military around them.

  • The Romans had people, equipment, and resources dedicated in advance PRIOR to a time of war/conflict.

    • The Romans had trained and prepared – they were DISCIPLINED and have taken the time to exercise for a potential threat.


  • Effective Police Departments are effective because they’ve prepared in advance.  A policeman/policewoman in a patrol car is there because they’ve attained a level of training.

    • A police officer has to completed a level of training and certification to meet the challenges of their duties prior to duty.

    • Some police departments have diverse components to target specific crimes to protect their cities

Major cities usually have specific task forces or teams to specifically target certain types of violence and crimes.


Look at the specialized departments they have, imagine the preparation they’ve had to go through for each one of these.

Miami Florida Police Dept.

Dept. Components

  • Office of the Chief
  • Media Relations
  • Police Athletic League
  • Internal Affairs
  • Patrol Division
  • Accident Investigation
  • Motorcycle Squad
  • Marine Patrol
  • K-9
  • Bicycle Patrol
  • ATV Patrol
  • Special Response Team
  • Investigations Division
  • Criminal Invest. Unit
  • Persons Crimes Section
  • Domestic Violence
  • V.I.S.A. Office
  • Property Crimes Section
  • Auto Crimes
  • Crime Scene
  • Gang Squad
  • Juvenile Squad
  • School Resource Squad
  • Crime Analysis Section
  • Strategic Invest. Unit

Cities of ancient times used high walls as a primary defense.  Ancient Israel is an example –

  • Proverbs 25:28Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

So what does that mean, how does this relate to temptation and resisting temptation?           

These examples highlight the need to prepare in advance for spiritual temptation.  Just like a military or police department;

If we sit passively in our spiritual walk, we can expect to suffer loss or damage.

BUILDING YOUR FAITH IN GOD is the most effective method to prepare in advance for temptation.

So What Can I do in Advance?

What to do in Advance:

Feed on good stuff!

(Namely, God’s Word)

Otherwise it is garbage in – garbage out!

After the temptation

  • What thoughts did you have earlier to acting out?

  • What happened earlier to acting out

  • What are your normal thought patterns – do you have “pet” patterns of thoughts that are unhealthy?

  • It only takes a spark to get a fire burning.