Now that we have established where bad ideas come from we need to carefully consider how we can defend against them. Despite the best efforts of the powers of darkness and despite our own fallen nature we can have victory over evil in this life. We live in a corrupted world and we inhabit corrupted bodies of flesh with an inborn sinful nature but God has not left us without the power to overcome.
What is this power to overcome and what are the tools that God has given us to do good and not evil? Here is how I see it:
Our first line of defense is and will always be our salvation and regeneration made possible by Christ’s sacrifice. Because he died in my place my spirit has been born anew and in my body of death I now hold the spirit of life (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). This is a powerful truth and it is the foundation for our eternal hope and our assured victory.
Even so, just because we are born again does not mean that God will not allow us to make bad choices or fall to temptation if we are bound and determined to do so. Even as a saved child of God our ability to choose is sacrosanct. And without proper training and maturity in God’s word we will continue to make bad choices even while we are on the path to life eternal.
After salvation, we must commit ourselves to growth and maturity. Just like a baby animal is no match for a predator, we are no match for the schemes of the evil one while we are still babes in Christ. We need knowledge of God’s word (The Bible), we need to develop an active and vital prayer life and we need to surround ourselves with mature believers who can hold us up and keep us accountable while we grow.
Study of God’s word accompanied by prayer will allow the Holy Spirit to speak directly to our hearts and grow us in grace and truth. God’s word is alive and is able to speak to us right where we are as it teaches us and improves our weak areas. (Hebrews 4:12) In this way we develop a strong foundation that is able to withstand times of trouble and temptation.
We must also surround ourselves with those who can teach us and guide us in this life of faith. Believers who have been through what we are going through and can provide Godly wisdom will keep us in good stead as we grow. We are commanded by God’s word to help each other and support each other (Galatians 6:2) in love and an active, vibrant life of faith is made possible by the support of other believers.
These are the foundation on which we build our defense against bad ideas and temptation to sin. Still, as we grow in faith and maturity we must also learn where we are weak and what we need to avoid. There are more distractions than ever for Christians in the world today and nothing will choke our desire for God faster than the cares of this life. We must guard our hearts and keep our desire for God and His law above all else. If our main goal is always to love the Lord with all we have then we will not find ourselves often going wrong. (Mark 12:30)
We can have victory because Christ has already won the war. Our part is simply to continue in faith and make good choices based on God’s word and the Holy Spirit’s instruction to us. Our defense is sure when we stand on the rock of truth.