Strength is important for Torah, for “Who is strong? He who subdues his personal inclination” (Avos 4:1). Fortunate is the person who overcomes his evil inclination in order to run towards every mitzvah and to flee from sin and from every negative trait; to meticulously keep every good matter and righteous behavior—in thought, speech and action and with all his heart, soul and wealth. Fortunate, too, is he who is patient and slow to anger, for he is better than a mighty man. There are many more examples of this since anybody who conquers his inclination is called a “mighty man.” Blessed is He Who gives strength to the weary, for despite the fact that the Evil Inclination is a fiery angel who employs all sorts of cunning attacks against the person, and despite the fact that it constantly, hourly, re-invents itself and overwhelms the person—despite all this every man and woman who steps forth to battle it can overcome it with the help of Hashem. Only the beginning is difficult, but after that it becomes much easier and the person feels good about it.
The one who has to be most vigilant about this is the person who has already succumbed to the attacks of his Inclination and has committed sins repeatedly to the point that in his eyes they seem perfectly acceptable. Such a person will have to make himself strong and pull away from the sin. For instance, a person who has become accustomed to negative traits or to excessive drink, gambling, uttering God’s Name in vain, false oaths, wasting time on vanity—and many similar things that become acceptable to people—will have to “hand over his soul” to completely go against his ways in order to pull away from those evil behaviors. He must be like a valiant warrior, constantly on guard, who employs strategy and protective measures in his battles. Such a person should also reckon the reward he stands to gain from a mitzvah and refraining from sin against what he stands to lose if he should fail. And let him remember that the greater the challenge, the greater the reward.
Then, after all our efforts and hardship to overcome the Inclination, we must also simply pray and ask mercy of Hashem—the Merciful One will surely have mercy upon us and will help us for the sake of honor of His Name. Amen, may so be His will.