Climb all the way up
Someone posted something beautiful on the forum.
Ahhh, the Yetzer Harah. Yes, this shmendrick IS stronger than us, and yes, without Hashems help, we have NO chance of overcoming him. He knows this truth, and I personally have experienced this over many many years. I had realized that the ONLY chance I would have would be to get closer to Hashem and find things that would bolster my ratings in Shemayim so that I would merit extra heavenly assistance.
As the Michtav M'Eliahu says, you cannot fight the Yetzer Harah head on, you will lose. He compares it to a spring. The more you push down on a spring, the stronger it's tension will be to spring back on you. So, it is almost like a no-win situation. If you try to fight him by facing him straight on, you are finished. He is too strong.
So, what did I do to deserve the heavenly assistance that we need? I took it upon myself to tovel (immerse) in the coldest mikveh in Israel (even colder than the Arizal's). Every Erev Shabbos I went to this mikveh with all of the kavanos of the Arizal, and even in the winter, no matter how cold it was, no matter how rainy or windy, I would enter this Mikveh. It was so cold that I felt as if my legs were being crushed, until finally, after about 2 minutes, they became completely numb. I welcomed this numbness. But, to dunk my head - this was difficult. I had to do it so quickly without thinking about it. Then, when I dunked my head for the 4th time, it felt like it was being squeezed in a vise. I thought my skull was going to crack.
I told Hashem that I was able and willing to to cause myself physical discomfort, just please don't let me have to fight the Yetzer Harah with my mind! I did this the entire winter, and what happened? IT DIDN'T HELP!!! As soon as I thawed out, the menuval was there.
So, I gave this up, and came to the conclusion, that there is no way out, we are obligated to fight him with our mind as well. There's no shortcuts. I saw in a sefer by the Shomer Emunim Rebbe (Taharas Hakodesh) that avodas hashem is like being far down under ground. You look upward, and you can see light....the way out. So you try to climb up the sides of your pit, carefully fitting your feet into the crevices, and little by little you get closer to the light... the way out. You carefully watch your footing, and then.. .all of sudden, you slip, and fall all the way down again. Once again you start all over again, seeing that light up above. And again, just as you get closer and closer, you lose your footing, and you fall all the way down again, and this keeps happening again and again. BUT, he says, after NOT giving up, then min hashamayim (from heaven), they lower down a ladder to you and you climb all the way up.
What is the point? Yes, we cannot possibly defeat the Yetzer Harah on our own. Hashem is the only one that can help us. But before he does, he wants us to be moser nefesh for him. I have learned that being moser nefesh is not a choice, it is the only way that we can win, it is the only way that we will get the heavenly assistance that we need. After we continue to try and try and try again, then... they lower down a ladder for us and we climb right up!