Many Christians don’t realize that when the enemy throws temptation our way, we have an amazing opportunity sitting right in front of us. God has given us tools to actually leverage Satan’s movement against our soul into a positive response that will greatly benefit of our spiritual life. I learned this lesson in my early twenties when I was single and living with my sister. Every morning, I was presented with the temptation to become frustrated with my sister because I felt she took too long to get out the door. And being on time has always been a big deal for me — in college my roommates nicknamed me the “perfectly-timed man”! Day after day, I would give in to this temptation and allow frustration to cloud my perspective and my relationship with my sister. And then God showed me a tool that not only transformed my ability to respond properly to temptation, but led to the salvation of our next-door neighbor. Watch my new blog video to hear the rest of the story!
As a child begins to interact with soul issues and recognizes temptation and begins to awaken to the ideas of the spiritual realm, the ideas of flesh-bait, the ideals of demonic voice and even selfish want, they need to become equipped with truth to be able to handle those things. One of the things that I think is imperative, as a Christian, is to recognize that temptation presents an opportunity. I know that that doesn’t make any sense at first. You might be thinking “Temptation is terrible, Eric. How could you call it an opportunity?” Well, if I gave you a pile of manure right now, you could say, “Excuse me, Eric, but why’d you give me that?” Actually, I’m giving you an opportunity.
See manure’s bad. Temptation’s bad. There’s a parallel there. But manure when handled properly, when leveraged, when converted, becomes fertilizer. And the same is true with temptation. Temptation becomes fertilizer, if you will, when we use the “jujitsu move” against it. That’s what I always like to call it. I’ve never done jujitsu, so I’m really speaking out of school here. But it’s either judo or jujitsu, where you leverage the weight and the height of your opponent against them and actually use it to their harm. And the same is true when the enemy comes in with temptation. You throw your jujitsu move on him and you leverage his movement against your soul into a positive movement for your soul.
For instance, I remember there was a guy named Scott who lived next door to me many years ago in Michigan. I was really struggling in this season with frustration. I was living with my sister, and she was always taking too long to get ready in the morning. And I’m always on time. So I was always frustrated, and then I would have to seek her forgiveness every day. And I had to seek God’s forgiveness for giving way to frustration again. I was tempted and I kept flailing. This is what most of us have experienced. But I had to learn how to throw the jujitsu move in. Here’s what I did. My neighbor, Scott, didn’t know Jesus, didn’t believe in Jesus, and lived a pretty corrupt life. So every time I was baited with the temptation to get frustrated, I’d start praying for Scott’s salvation. And this guy got hit hard spiritually, because I was always baited with the temptation to get frustrated.
This is a true story. I’d say in about a month of praying for this guy multiple times every day, he gave his life to Christ. And it taught me a lesson in and through this. When I take what the enemy is meaning for evil, I actually can believe God wants to turn it for good. And I do that by actually participating in this movement. I call it the jujitsu movement. That’s just my term for it. But say the enemy’s trying to hit you in one area. Well, what if you start praying in a different area? What if when the enemy hits you in the nose, you hit below the belt? In other words, it’s a tactical maneuver and it actually gets you excited!
For example, if he dishes out manure, I plow it and till it into my soil, and I get better flowers that are coming out. And I tell you what, it works! So I’m giving you a tactic that I’m going to teach my kids. Leverage temptation against the enemy. Don’t let the enemy get away with his nonsense. Turn it on him. Have fun with this. It’s a battle tactic! And it ends up proving the power and the sufficiency of God. He is stronger than the temptation coming against you. Don’t just sit there and take it, play it against him by immediately going to prayer, by immediately turning outward, by immediately doing, (you fill in the blank). There’s a lot of options that could fill in that blank.
If you’d like to take these ideas deeper, join me for an eight-week course on honorable manhood.