"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
We must not find ourselves so confident, in what small victories we have experienced through God's mercy and grace, to think that we can relax even one whit.
We must have the power to both tell ourselves "no" by first being honest with what the Word of God says we are not to do and die to ourselves as Jesus said. We must then recognize with that same honesty and humility the triggers that preclude the seduction into that behavior - that appeal to our impulses - and make the decision to flee from them.
In fact, when we have successfully done this, we must then watch for them to come again, in ways we never experienced, as Satan will neither relent nor yield. He did not even leave our Lord alone after the 40 days of temptation in the wilderness, as the Word says Satan only left him for a season.
If he only left the Son of God alone for a season, *we* will receive no rest, and should expect none.
We must look for the things which we, in the midst of our pride, desire above all semblance of self-control, to come at us in a way we can neither expect nor anticipate. We must search ourselves, this temple we have allowed through obedience to be swept clean by the grace of God to allow His Spirit to inhabit us; search it for evidence of a new way into our lives which we did not anticipate when we faced the invader before.
It will find a way to approach us and appear innocent. It can be clothed in what we consider harmless, friendly, benign... It will say, "In this form, I can't hurt you." We may even recognize what is behind the disguise, and in the midst of the pride which we must utterly destroy, think that we have what it takes to tolerate or include some portion of it in our lives, for *our* comfort, because it can be taken with moderation... or whatever excuse we have the power to create when we want something we have been forced to deny in our decision to follow Jesus.
If we allow Satan to nuzzle up to us, and lay a warm, soothing hold of us with what *we* want in spite of what the Word of God says about fleeing from sin (1 Corinthians 6:18) and being vigilant, we can not look to God for protection when we are seized by the teeth hidden within those jaws and allow our lives and those about us to be be ravaged and torn. We will have at that point disobeyed, and there are consequences for that that are lasting... if we are fortunate, they will merely alter the shape of our lives forever as surely as a limb torn from our bodies from a Lion will.
We must be awake and vigilant, and must never remove any portion of the armor of God. There is no time to relax, because we are, as my brother Cyril put it recently, "in a war unto the death, which means something has to die. And *we* think it is the enemy, but *Jesus* said it's us."