Anyone learning how to play chess for the first time will quickly learn that you can lose really quickly. If you are not on your guard, the opponent can get you into ‘check-mate’ in three moves, and then the game will be all over. However, the thing to learn is that it is always the same three moves. Once you are aware of this, you will never fall for the trick ever again.

The same thing happens in the spiritual life. The scriptures constantly tell us to be on our gurd against the attack of the enemy. However, it is important to realise that most of the time, the enemy only has to use three moves to defeat us. The three deadly thoughts that will be suggested are:

1) You are not strong enough (or you are not good enough) to follow this calling

2) You are a hypocrite (or you will be one once you try to live a life of virtue)

3)You are going to fail anyway, so there is no point trying

These are the most common temptations you will face when you try to advance in the spiritual life, but if you are on your guard, you can defeat them easily.