The kingdom of self is heavily defended territory. Post-Eden Adams and Eves are willing to pay their respects to God, but they don’t want him invading their turf. Most sin, far from being a mere lapse of morals or a weak will, is an energetically and expensively erected defense against God. Direct assault in an openly declared war on the god-self is extraordinarily ineffective. Hitting sin head-on is like hitting a nail with a hammer, it only drives it in deeper. There are occasional exceptions, strategically directed confrontations, but indirection is the biblically preferred method.
Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, 31-32.