Battle By: Allie Joy Hudson
4 min read
If you’re struggling to overcome a porn habit, and you head home just hoping to not watch it that night, you are almost always going to fail.
The Proven curriculum talks about how important it is to have a plan of action in overcoming your entrapment to lust. We need to implement practical steps in order to fight, or we will be opening up the door to secret sin and giving lust a foothold.
Battle Tactics Matter
Let’s look at a Scriptural example of the Israelites executing a complex strategy to overcome their enemies. The highly tactical, gripping battle at Ai takes place at the beginning of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land, after their victory over Jericho. We read about it in Joshua 8.
So, like we saw in Israel’s marching around the walls of Jericho, their martial strategy comes directly from their Commander, God Himself. Here’s the plan:
The Israelite army splits into two groups. One party hides behind the city’s far borders, lying in wait. The other group, led by Joshua, camps out in front of the city, on the northern side. In the morning, the king of Ai sees the northern encampment and sends all of his men out to attack them. The Israelites flee, pretending to be beaten. But the king doesn’t see the other group of waiting Israelites. While the men of Ai are gone from the city, the Israelites that were hidden light the city on fire, driving out all of its remaining inhabitants.
When the fleeing Israelites see smoke rising in the distance, they turn around and kill every one of the people of Ai. Not one person escapes. The city is reduced to ash, and the Lord wins the battle for His people.
Snares of Lust
Though Israel’s enemies here were more tangible than the snares of sexual sin, the principle of needing a strategy to win still holds up. Without a cohesive plan, it’s likely that the Israelites would have all been slain in the valley outside of Ai. Their success here reminds us that there is much power in taking the time to think through your attack against lust.
When we put in effort ahead of time, this makes things much simpler for us in the heat of the moment. Though Satan still does all he can to try and make us fall, I’ve found it easier to resist his counterfeit offers when I have a plan to follow, and a tangible battle to fight.
Before my husband and I were married, this approach involved not putting ourselves in situations where we would not be compromised and also physically writing out and referring to a boundary list. Here are some other practical suggestions that you can work to implement:
- Put blocks on your computer and your phone. Check out Covenant Eyes and X3watch.
- Leave your laptop at work instead of taking it home with you.
- Avoid being on your phone or computer when you’re alone (at the office, in your dorm, in the bathroom, being the last one up at night, etc.).
- Delete social media apps from your phone if scrolling trips you up.
- If you are alone and feel the urge to do something, immediately call a friend or go out for a walk.
- Set up regular accountability sessions with a trusted friend or mentor.
- Surround yourself with encouraging, life-giving community.
- Pray often.
You know yourself. You know your specific struggles, and you know where it’s easy for you to slip up and where you succeed. Take these things into account as you prepare for war. Practically planning and intentionally resolving to choose sexual integrity before temptation strikes makes it easier to resist in the moment of struggle.
As we read Joshua 8, we see how crucial it is to know how to strategize before we enter into a fight. But there is a little more to this story at the end of the chapter. After the Israelites burn Ai and claim victory, they build an altar to God. Then, all of the people – men, women, and children – gather around as Joshua reads out the Law of Moses before them.
It’s so significant that after their battle, the people of God pause to honor, praise, and thank Him for the salvation that He provided.
Our Heavenly Father was pleased to bless His children with the land He had promised their forefathers, and He is pleased to provide us with freedom over the lust that “so easily entangles” us (Hebrews 12:1). This story reminds us to look to God before, in, and after moments of struggle, failure, and victory.
So, look to Jesus for guidance in planning current strategies, for help in the midst of temptation, and in gratitude after you choose, in His strength, to honor and know Him.
Join us at our October 19th conference in Lynchburg Virginia!
— axe throwing
— keynote speaker
— did we mention axe throwing??
Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. Allie completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction and has also been published in two of Liberty University’s other online journals, The Kabod and Aidenn. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, singing, musical theatre, photography, and Zumba. She is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie was raised in Maryland and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.