August 15, 2011
Spiritual combat is going on all the time. It is important for believers to be aware of this conflict in order to battle sin effectively and live in a manner pleasing to the Lord.
The struggle exists in three areas. First, we have an internal enemy. Ever since the fall in the garden of Eden, the human heart does not naturally seek after God. But His Spirit can draw us and move our thoughts toward Him. However, even after salvation, we will have the capacity to do wrong as long as we remain in this carnal body. Scripture names evidence of the old "flesh" patterns at work within us, such as immorality, impurity, jealousy, and outbursts of anger (Gal. 5:19-20).
Second, there exists an external enemy: the system of ungodly beliefs, attitudes, and philosophies all around us. First John 2:15 gives a stern warning: "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." As believers in Jesus, we should be salt and light to the society around us while not allowing its ways to influence our thoughts or behavior.
Third, there's an infernal enemy—namely, Satan. His desire is to dishonor God and to gain victory over the Lord's kingdom. We know from Scripture that this will not happen, but the conflict will continue until the final days mentioned in Revelation.
Be aware of these three enemies. You wouldn't sleep in the midst of a raging war, and neither should you live without awareness in the daily spiritual battle. Today's passage gives the specifics for standing firm in Christ: Arm yourself with God's Word, and seek His protection and wisdom.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.