Did you know most of us don’t have any problem with listening? What gets us into trouble is who we listen to. Someone once said in a marriage the first year, the man speaks and the woman listens. The second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. The third year both of them speak and the neighbors listen.

Now I hope this isn’t true of your marriage. But this is often true of the Christian’s struggle with sin. Whether or not we yield to the lusts of our flesh depends on which nature we’re listening to. In the battle that goes on between our natures, the nature we listen to is going to be built up.

Our minds are the battleground for this struggle. Victory over the flesh is possible when we have a good defense and an even better offense. A good defense will keep us away from the source of temptation. This is visible from the outside. A strong offense is built as we learn, meditate on, and apply the Word of God to our lives to counterattack temptation. This is developed on the inside, in the heart. If the offense can win the battle of the mind, victory for the defense will follow. You can’t overcome sin any other way.

Who have you been listening to lately? Maybe you’re trying to see how close you can get to temptation without actually committing a sin. You’re opening yourself up to an attack from the enemy. Build up your offense through the Word and prayer. If you don’t overcome from the inside-out, the devil will overcome you from the outside-in.

How much higher the hill is, so much is the wind there greater; so, how much higher the life is, so much the stronger is the temptation of the enemy. — John Wycliffe

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder