In the world in which we live there are two great forces. The force of righteousness and the force of unrighteousness. If one has been taught the righteousness of God, his conscience has been educated in the same. Therefore, there is a deep seated feeling of what is right and wrong. The conscience will be trying to encourage that which is right according to its former training. Yet the main ingredient which enable one to live the Christian life, is faith.

 Too many look for some magical shortcuts to spiritual growth and maturity. However, there are none! God promised to "provide a way of escape", when one is tempted, but that promise is not independent of one's own responsibilities. Note what Paul wrote: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Corinthians 10:13). The Psalmist wrote, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalms 119:11). One cannot wait until temptation comes and then seek for strength and escape. One fortifies himself constantly, day by day, for the battles that are yet future. The Christian absorbs of the word of God regularly through study, so that he may use that "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17) when Satan tempts him. That is what Jesus did. Tempted by Satan three times, the Lord answered every time, "It is written" (Matthew 4:1-10).

The daily prayers, the daily Bible study and the regular assemblies with other Christians all help to fortify the Christian against temptation. It is the regular, daily spiritual activities that strengthen one against the "wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). If you are "at Satan's mercy" you will receive no mercy. But the Christian is set free by Christ. The Hebrew writer stated, "Deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:15). Satan has no control over the Christian's life, unless the Christian allows him to do so.    ---Charles E. Burch