1 Chronicles 21 begins by revealing how Satan influenced King David to take a census of the army, something the Lord had forbidden. Over the objections of Joab, David's commander in chief, the King issues the order and the census is taken. There are severe consequences for David's actions as there always are when we disobey the Lord.
As I pondered this story recently I was puzzled that a "man after God's own heart" could be so easily influenced to disobey God even after a warning from one of his most trusted leaders. As we know this was not David's only failure to resist temptation. Remember the Bathsheba and Uriah incident.
Being a person "after God's own heart", is apparently not enough when it comes to standing up against temptation and resisting the devil's attempts to deceive and misguide. We need something more, something only God can provide in order to live in true victory over sin and evil. We need the Holy Spirit.
But the Holy Spirit was active in Old Testament lives too. The Bible says that Spirit came upon Samson (the strong man), Saul (Israel's first king), David and the prophets, to name a few. But they were all still powerless when it came to living a consistently righteous life. They were still vulnerable against temptation.
Here's the difference between then and now. David and the others failed in their attempts to resist temptation because there was no supernatural power within them that could do what weak human nature could not do. But you and I CAN live in victory because by faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is not only present with us but lives within us (1Cor 3:16). And when we live under the control of the Holy Spirit we will not give into the sinful nature (Gal 5:16).
You can live a consistently victorious spiritual life. Be filled with the Spirit! (Eph 5:18).