Do you feel powerless against your own selfish desires?
If you’re like me, it can be a battle to simply hold onto our faith, let alone charge forward after God’s call for our lives.
It’s been through coming to terms with my own weakness that I’ve discovered the reason my self-control is always seemingly stretched to breaking point.
I’ve come to see that I’m on a very real battlefield without a weapon. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 17 says, “...take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Just like Jesus in the desert, we win against temptation using the Word of God.
Though we are in a constant struggle to surrender all to Jesus, the good news is that we can have victory. In fact, we should be winning, and the secret is in brandishing Bible verses over every temptation that comes our way.
Easier said than done. Let’s get real and think about how often we actually turn to Scripture for help. We all can do better, and I’ve found a way.
Using my phone.
If you feel you’re being overpowered by some struggle at the moment, I pray that these simple tips I’m about to share may help you like they have helped me.
Context- the times we live in
We live in the age of accessibility and there are pros and cons to this. On one hand, temptations come at us from all directions no matter where we are.
The other side is that we also have unlimited access to tools to grow our faith. We must use the benefits of easy access to our spiritual advantage if we’re to overcome temptation in this technological world.
Beating temptation using your phone: Step 1
You probably have the Bible App on your phone, but how often do you use it? Compared to Facebook or your other favourite apps I mean. What’s speaking into your life more? Advertising and social media or the Word of God?
Here’s the first tip. Place the Bible App in prime position on your phone’s home screen. Front and centre! Then hide the other apps that tend to waste your time inside a folder right at the back, on the last screen.
Since doing this, I was surprised at how little I was looking at social media. Especially when I got to work on my notification settings as well!
This step was a good start for me. The chances of my reading the Bible more than once a day greatly increased. Yet, I found God’s Word was still not permeating every hour of my day like it needed to if I was going to experience victory over my sinful tendencies.
Do you use the highlighter tool on the Bible App? You should! It’s more useful than you might think.
As I read the Bible, I highlight verses that stand out. Then during the week, I go into my Bible App profile and read through the verses I’ve highlighted over the last few days.
I then choose a verse and create a verse image.
What do I then do with this image so that this spiritual weapon is always on hand? Brace yourself. This is pure genius…
I make it the wallpaper for my lock screen.
Then, just like a warrior with a sword at his side, whenever I pull my phone from my pocket, I have God’s Word right there, ready. The living and active Word of God has another chance to do its work in my life.
In the time I’ve practiced the habit of putting verses on my lock screen, I’ve found my thoughts becoming more in tune with the Spirit and, slowly but surely, less full of the garbage thrown at me from the world.
Keep it fresh. Once you have the same verse on your lock screen for more than a week, you’ll stop looking at it. So change it up regularly.
Finally, I’d like to quickly mention a second app that has been a long-term help in my walk of discipleship.
PrayerMate is an app that allows you to set and schedule things to pray for. It’s a simple concept that has provided daily structure to my prayers.
It has been most useful in remembering to pray for the people God has put in my life.
No longer controlled by our sinful nature
These technological tips have worked for me, and I think that as we try to live out the Christian life in this day and age, we need all the help we can get.
I’ll leave you with the verse that is currently on my lock screen. It speaks of the key ingredient for winning in our walk with the Lord.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Romans chapter 8 verse 9.
Temptation will still come up in the newsfeed of our lives, but because of God’s power at work in our lives through His Word, we don’t have to click on the links.
Tom Anderson is pioneering www.haventogether.com, an online church plant supported by his in-person church, Catalyst, Ipswich. He has a young, growing family and enjoys playing backyard sport. Tom is a keen long-distance runner, averaging 21km each day last year. He has worked as a teacher for eleven years and enjoys perfecting a flat white on his home espresso machine. Tom would welcome a visit for a coffee some time… or an online catch-up via Zoom. See the Haven Together website to get in touch.