Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Destruction of Seduction

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will." -- Romans 12:2

When you see the word "seduction," what is the first thing that pops into your mind?  For most of us, the answer would be sexual sin of some sort.  We equate seduction with being lured into sexual relationships when in reality, it is so much more.  Seduction is sometimes very subtle, but it is always destructive.  Whether it results in sexual sin, an addiction of some sort, or simply a mental or emotional obsession with another human being or a material possession, it results in idolatry and divides our heart, making it impossible to truly worship the One who died to save us from our sins in the first place. 

It has been said that the mind is a battlefield.  Seduction nearly always begins in the mind.  In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul talks about the conflict of the Spirit with the old nature of sin.  He writes, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God" (vs. 5-7). 

For the Christian, our salvation does not guarantee our immunity from Satan's seduction.  He is a crafty devil who knows how our minds work, and he is quick to plant the seeds of sin and deceit in the fertile soil of our gray matter.  He knows that often what we think about, we bring about.  If he can lure us into thinking about a certain individual who admires us, or a possession we feel we cannot live without, pretty soon we find ourselves in emotional, physical, or financial bondage because of our lust for that which we found lacking in our lives.  Satan can even take good things, like our call to ministry or the desire to do our jobs with excellence, and turn them into idols, distractions, and unhealthy obsessions which negatively impact our families and, most importantly, our walk with the Lord.

We must remember that although Satan is powerful, God has the final word.  Rather than be destroyed by Satan's deceit and wickedness, we can fight it with the full assurance that God is on our side and has already won the war against seduction.  How can we do this?  As we put on the full armor of God, take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:13-17), and meditate on his precepts (Psalm 119), God equips us by fortifying our minds with his truth.  As we meditate on God's Word, he reveals himself to us and we become transformed by the renewing of our minds, able to test and approve his will (Romans 12:2) and stand strong in the face of temptation.

The destruction of seduction is a two-way street.  We can either let Satan destroy us by his seduction, or we can destroy his seduction by meditating on and obeying the Word of God.

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