Prepare in advance
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not…” Da 1:8 NKJV
Are you continuing to do things you don’t want to do and indulge in thoughts that lead you astray? Are you being constantly overcome by the same old temptations? Here is the bad news: The new birth doesn’t do away with your old nature; it actually intensifies the struggle between your flesh and your spirit. Here is the good news: You can live victoriously! How? (1) Through prayer. Jesus told His disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt 26:41). If you’re tired of praying for forgiveness after you have failed, start praying before the temptation comes. You can’t stop temptation from coming your way, but you can prepare yourself in advance to overcome it. And if you need help, call in reinforcements. Find someone who knows how to stand with you in prayer. The Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor” (Ecc 4:9 NKJV). (2) By making up your mind. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” The way to subdue your impulses is by activating your will—in advance. When you do that, God empowers you by His Spirit. Where did Daniel’s strength of purpose come from? God. He prayed three times every day (See Da 6:10). Don’t set yourself up for failure; keep yourself out of harm’s way. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, he “fled and ran outside” (Ge 39:12 NKJV). Both Joseph and Daniel had prayed and made up their mind what they would do before temptation came knocking. You must do that too.