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Prologue At The Front Anatomy Of Temptation Revised
by Michael Metz
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"At The Front – Anatomy Of Temptation" is reality TV in print. It was Aug 14, 09, when I was finishing my business for the day (writing – of course) when the Lord dropped an idea in my lap. I say this because on my mind was nothing but going to sleep. I wasn't pondering any new ideas for a story. The idea that bolted into my head – describe an episode of temptation as it is happening.

While I suddenly found myself in the position of main character, I believe the point the Lord wants to make is having this written so anyone can relate to the subject at hand. For this reason there is not the usual description of the main character. The specifics of the temptation (i.e. gambling, lust, gossip, unrighteous anger) will be minimized as much as possible in an effort to allow the reader to "fill-in the blanks" with their own personal struggle.

The title, "At The Front" relates to the frontlines of a battlefield. That is what we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are engaged in when temptation comes upon us. That battlefield is the mind.

(I'm dealing with it right now; picture any war movie where the hero is moving towards the target – maybe flying a plane, or driving a jeep – surrounded by enemy fire. But their so fixed on their target they don't seem to notice the incoming rounds. I'm fixed on getting this piece done and the enemy knows I'll be going on the internet to post it; so he's gnawing away at my conscience. Lord, let it be that the enemy will not have the satisfaction of any flavor of victory. In Jesus name.)

So what's the most logical role for the main character to play – news correspondent, of course! So in true fashion of such a role the episodes will illustrate temptation as they happen – reality TV in print. These "reports" will be in the first person, present tense. I also hope that through this process a better understanding of how the enemy moves will be gained. My purpose is clear. Expose the enemy's methods, share God's authority given to us as believers, and hopefully release some POW's (fellow believers caught in bondage). Hhmm, should we coin a new term; BCB's (believers caught in bondage).

Let me go over some terms that will be used frequently; these and other terms will be listed in the Glossary in the back of the book. I will be using the GI Army Field Manual (GI = God Issued; Manual = Bible) of the New American Standard Bible version, 1995. I'm contemplating using the feedback I receive from fellow solders (that's you) as Field Reports. Anonymity will be top priority least the enemy make any connections. Those wishing to contribute a "Field Report" can indicate with "TS" (Top Secret) followed by what you wish to give as input for the next episode.

Since we are focused on military terms, let me take a moment to address those readers who have not come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Bible contains many instructions to help us and enable us in our defense against the enemy (satan and his demons). Probably the most common reference is the book of Ephesians, Chapter 6, verses 10-18; referring to the armor of God.

The instruction here tell us our battle (those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior from Hell) is not against flesh and blood, but against forces of evil (this is a paraphrase). An inventory of the armor shows we have available to us several resources. A "belt" of truth. Not a literal belt, but that acting on God's truths serve as a belt to restrain us from drifting away from what He intends for our lives. After all, the devil is called the father of lies (John 8:44)

Before going any further it will be important to note the context in which this was written. To understand this one has to know that the armor of Roman soldiers was being metaphorically used to illustrate these intangible pieces of spiritual armor. Upon the belt other pieces of armor were dependent.

Upon the "belt" rests a "breastplate" of righteousness. Not the kind of righteousness that says, "I'm better than you now that I'm saved." May it never be! It is only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we become right with the Heavenly Father. For through this righteousness we have His protection (1 Peter 1:5)

A third piece of the armor is the "helmet" of salvation. By way of salvation way have a new way of thinking and a need to protect the way we think and protect what enters our minds; after all we've been made new (Romans 12:1,2 and 2 Corinthians 10:5).

No soldier is fit without "shoes". These are shoes of preparation that allow us to carry the Gospel of peace (John 14:27 and 1 Peter 3:15) . We are given a "shield" of faith to quench the fiery "arrows" of the evil one. "Arrows" of doubt, despair, fear, discouragement, distraction, and many others (yes, a believer in Jesus Christ can experience these harsh emotions for a season – we're still human). Remember, satan is an expert sniper who knows us better than we know ourselves. Take a moment to let this word-picture sink in a little – satan, a sniper. One key to a sense of security of His protection can be found in the book of Ephesians 1:13,14.

We are not without a weapon. The "sword" of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Now, numerous things must be addressed about this. Let me simplify by saying this; take a modern day weapon of war: bazooka, tank, M-60 machine gun, no instruction, no training. How effective do you think you are at using the weapon to its fullest capability? (Isaiah 59:1, 2 and
2 Timothy 2:15)

So, when we experience failure against the enemy or when it feels like, "Gods' Word didn't work". Let's take a moment to evaluate ourselves. There's nothing wrong with the sword – have we developed the skill to use it. How much time do we devote to practicing with the Word (Acts 19:11-16).

We finish the inventory with prayer; James 5:16 says it all. This is the oil that keeps the armor functioning and keeps it from corroding.

There is much more about warring and battling to support a war correspondent format. The enemy we fight is relentless. Do you understand relentless? Relentless. I think of the Orcs, the Uraki, the Trolls, in the "Lord of the Rings" and I get a good picture of a relentless enemy. One problem. From my observation, most Christians don't know a thing about being relentless in fighting the enemy because, for the most part, they are not striving to be obedient to the Word of God. Christians know more about Disney characters than about historical people in the Bible.

We have become anesthetized Christians. As such, the enemy need not put forth much effort to stop us. Onward Christian Soldier – I think not.

You want to say the Bible doesn't support the followers of Jesus being relentless, or maybe it sound too aggressive. How about persistent? There's Biblical support for that; but again, I say the average Christian knows little of being persistent. Which is why, as Christians, we have so little authority over the enemy. The tide must turn. It is only when we rise up to begin disciplining ourselves that the enemy will take notice and begin to move – let him move.

Let me close by saying thank you to "FaithWriters.com" for this format. Granted, I'm only active on one other writer's site; but, the feedback/critique response on this site is what I believe will help this novel, in this format be successful.

Let the war unfold…

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