Because you are a leader, you are a spiritual target. You have people depending on you to do the right thing. And the enemy of your soul wants to take you down.
Pastors are leaders with big targets on their backs. But business leaders have targets on their backs too. And parents especially have targets on their backs. Because all these leaders carry the responsibility of leading and caring for those in their charge.
It is imperative to watch out for how you can be targeted by the enemy of your soul. Here are some warning signs from James 1:14 to help you handle being a spiritual target.
It all starts with temptation. And it’s important to understand what temptation is and what it isn’t. You are not necessarily doing anything wrong when you are tempted. It’s not your fault when you get tempted. And you are not the author of your own temptations. But you get to choose how you respond to temptations.
If you’re a married man, and a thought comes to you to look at an attractive woman, then you get to choose how you will respond. Acknowledging that she is attractive is not a problem. But studying how attractive she is will become a problem—if she’s not your wife.
King David was a spiritual target (1 Chronicles 21:1), and he allowed himself to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He should have been off at war with his men, but he chose to be home in Jerusalem. And that’s when he saw Bathsheba bathing. And he noticed that she was very beautiful (2 Samuel 11:1-2). If he had stopped there and went about his business, it would have been one thing. But he didn’t stop there. Because he didn’t realize that he was a spiritual target.
Temptation doesn’t just have to be sexual. It can be anything that is outside of God’s design. God wants the best for you. But he doesn’t want something for you that will pull you away from Him or outside of His design.
You will be targeted with temptation all the time. Recognize the temptation for what it is. And get rid of it then when it enters your mind. If you have to literally shake your head to stop your thought process, then do it. Do what you have to so you can stop dwelling on the temptation. It’s best to deal with it when it’s at the temptation stage than when it goes any further than that.
If you allow the temptation to linger, then you will begin to desire what has tempted you. And all kinds of things can go on inside the playground of your mind. In fact, you can even begin to rationalize that your desire for the temptation is a good thing.
David chose to act on his temptation. He asked a servant about her, and he was told that she was a married woman. That should have stopped him right there, especially since her husband was one of his best and most trusted fighters in the army (2 Samuel 11:3). But he didn’t stop there. Because he didn’t realize that he was a spiritual target.
Desire is a powerful thing. But desire is not necessarily bad—unless it is focused on something that it is outside of God’s design. Once temptation gets to this stage, it is hard to fight it. But you can still say no. You can still say no to the temptation. But it’s a lot harder.
Once you have given into the desire for what you have been tempted, then you have become entrapped. And just like the word means in a criminal sense, the enemy of your soul will lure you into committing the act. And there are always consequences when that happens.
David had Bathsheba brought to him (2 Samuel 11:4). Even when she had been brought to his chambers, he could still have changed course. He could have stopped to realize what he was doing. But he didn’t stop there. Because he didn’t realize he was a spiritual target.
When Bathsheba told David she was pregnant, he tried to cover up what he did by bringing her husband home from the battle to be with his wife. When that didn’t work, he went so far as to have her husband—his trusted soldier—killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:5-17). David rationalized what he did because he allowed himself to act on his temptation and his desire. Because he didn’t realize that he was a spiritual target.
Even though David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), he still was tempted. Then he acted on that temptation. And he acted on his desire. And he became entrapped.
But the reason that David was known as a man after God’s own heart is what he did when Nathan visited him. When Nathan convicted him of what he did, he acknowledged that he had done wrong. David did not try to make excuses. He did not try to shift the blame. He was repentant before the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13-16).
Even when you are tempted, you can still find a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). And when the enemy of your soul entraps you, God will still forgive you and cleanse you—if you confess (1 John 1:9). Because God still brings good out of disaster (Isaiah 61:3).
As a leader, you are a spiritual target. You have people depending on you to do the right thing. Think carefully about what you do so you won’t fall prey to the enemy of your soul (1 Peter 5:8).
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