by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday October 21, 2004
The Believer's Struggle
In the lifelong struggle with temptation and natural desire, believers are told to "put on" the Lord Jesus Christ. This becomes a daily activity by which you decide who is going to live your life for you today. Are you going to live in the flesh, or is Jesus going to have the privilege of living His life through you?
People have different terms for the "flesh," but simply put, it is the natural part of each person that desires to operate in opposition to God. It usually manifests itself by challenging the restrictions that the Lord set for mankind's good. We will always have this fleshly nature, but we don't have to live by it, and we don't have to succumb to it. Why? Because we have the Holy Spirit living within. Once He indwells us, we possess two mindsets - the mind of the Spirit leading toward God and the mind of the flesh leading away from Him.
Because these two ways of thinking are opposed to each other, conflict and warfare result. We are in a real battle, which requires real weapons. We have the helmet of salvation so that we will not surrender our minds to the flesh. The breastplate of righteousness defends our emotions from giving way to natural desires. We put on the belt of truth, which enables us to walk in truth rather than in the flesh. There is a real shield of faith because there are real darts of doubt. In other words, we are at war, but we are well equipped for it. God always leads us in triumph.
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