Are you Tired?
This seems a rather trivial issue, but bear me out.
It was no sooner than after I published this particular essay that I began to feel sorely tempted along my normal compulsions. This time, I immediately suspected demonic oppression, for it usually comes along after I discuss demonic activity, tactics, and countermeasures. I rebuked the demons, and I would get temporary relief, then it would come back. It was far more persistent than normal, and I eventually succumbed. Bummer!
After picking myself up and asking forgiveness, I decided to get to the bottom of why I was getting recurrence more often: this made the fourth time in the last four months. In previous years, I'd have thought I was near to perfection with that sort of record. However, as I said on the second page of this essay, the balance sheet is coming up different, so a situation where I fail four times in four months is four times too many.
I was quite embarassed when, after asking for some post-mortem information and wisdom, I dozed off, woke up, and the Spirit sorta said "That!"
Once again, I had been thinking like a Greek, not a Jew.
The Greek gnostics, and many medieval ascetics, distained matter and the body, treating the latter with rigor and contempt. Some Gnostics took a different view that amounted to the same thing: since the body was totally evil, it was inherently impotent, so it didn't matter if you indulged its appetite for food, liquor, and sex. The Greek adage of "Moderation in everything" was not held universally, and some took that as being permission to "moderately" sin, thinking they were doing pretty good if they "only" needed one mistress!
While there is a wisdom in maintaining discipline, the Greek view errs in discounting the body in favor of the mind and soul. The Jews viewed the body as fallen and susceptible, but not any more or less than man's mind or spirit. It deserved the middle-road of respect and a suitable measure of honor, as measured by the scales of God and the Law. It certainly deserves to be consulted and accounted for.
Quite bluntly, in the drive to get this essay published, I stayed up far too late at night, didn't stay in bed when I woke up to ensure I was fully rested, and generally did not take good care of myself in this area. As I review not only my falls, but also times of hard temptation when I didn't fall, I could see the same pattern of pushing to the point of getting tired, to be followed by a battle that I won way more times than I lost. However, the point of being intimately united with the most powerful being in the universe is to get the help to avoid losing altogether. Zero tolerance. Losing to a pathetically weak opponent in comparison to being so strong is not just an irritation, but an embarassment.
Now, there have been times when I needed to push myself and should have been drowsy by all rights. At those times, I have had the Holy Spirit step in and make up what my imprudence shorted my body. My mistake was to think that he would do that all the time. Not so. There were times when I ignored the Spirit when He was telling me "Hey! Will you please take better care of the buggy the both of us are riding in through this world?"
It should be obvious that a tired body makes for a tired brain, and a tired brain has a hard time persisting in "menu selecting" the proper thoughts to cooperate with the Holy Spirit when a demon captain notices you're in a weakened state and sends in his "boys" one at a time to force you to recognize them and rebuke them one at a time. This made them the offense, me the defense, and defense rarely scores points unless they are alert and capitalize on fumbles. When 'tired' is in, 'alert' is OUT.
The actual mechanism is not hard to figure out: I talked on the previous page about how temptation is implemented by selective generation of directed electrical, magnetic, or electro-magnetic fields by demons. A tired brain has reduced electrical and chemical activity, making any externally induced activity proportionately larger than normal. Do you recall times when an otherwise easy task looked overwhelming because you were tired? That's because, even though it requires the same amount of energy and effort as at other times, that energy takes up a proportionately greater fraction of a reserve that has been reduced due to excessive withdrawals. Get some rest first, and you'll wonder why you wimped out when faced with a task you should have breezed through without any problems.
The solution for this one is obvious: get enough rest, eat well, and move your body. One can be fanatical about it for sure, but then again, the Holy Spirit within you is more than able to tell you when you go overboard or when you need to get on board. Your problem, like mine, is figuring out which of the thoughts you are thinking is from Him and needs to be heeded and obeyed religiously, and which ones are not and can be treated with less intensity.
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