|Who Are We Fighting Against|
With whom is the Christian soldier meant to fight? Not with other Christians. No, indeed! The principal fight of the Christian is with the world, the flesh and the devil. These are his never- dying foes. These are the three chief enemies against whom he must wage war. Unless he gets the victory over these three, all other victories are useless and vain. If we had a perferct nature, the warfare would not be so essential. But with a corrupt heart, a devil working overtive, and an ensnaring world, we must either "fight" or be lost.
WE MUST FIGHT THE FLESH
Even after conversion we carry within us a nature prone to evil and a heart that is weak and unstable. The o'l heart will never be free from imperfection in this world, and it is a miserable delusion to expect it. To keep our hearts from going astray, the Lord Jesus bids us, "Watch and pray." The spirit may be ready, but the flesh is weak. There is need of a daily struggle and a daily wrestling in prayer. "I keep under my body," cries St. Paul, "and bring it into subjection." "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity." "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" "Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." "Mortify . . . your members which are upon the earth" (Mark 14:38; 1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:23, 24; Gal. 5:24; Col. 3:5).
WE MUST FIGHT THE WORLD
The subtle influence of that mighty enemy must be daily resisted, and without a daily battle can never be overcome. The love of the world's good things, the fear of the world's laughter or blame, the secret desire to keep in with the world, the secret wish to do as others in the world do, and not to run into extremes-all these are spiritual foes which beset the Christian continually on his way to heaven and must be conquered. "The friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." "The world is crucified to me, and I unto the world." "Whatever is born of God overcomes the world." "Be not conformed to this world" (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15; Gal. 6:14; 1 John 5:4; Rom. 12:2).
WE MUST FIGHT THE DEVIL
There will be times when it is necessary step back and take the time to reflect, renew our strength and to gain perspective for our lives. We may even begin to feel a sense of relief and become complacent. If we are tempted to remain complacent, we should remind ourselves of the lives we will never touch, the spiritual heights we will never reach, and the force of faith that will no longer impact the invisible world to keep the enemy at bay. There are legitimate struggles in life, and we can become discouraged, but even if we feel discouraged, and we must place our trust in the Lord, He will not fail us.
Some battles may be lost because lesser obstacles were overlooked at the start, and there are times, out of enthusiasm, we move ahead of our present capacity. It is not wise to tackle unfamiliar territory unless we are led by the Lord, to do otherwise is to witness the casualties of spiritual warfare.Christians experience real problems, and doing our best to overcome them through the power of God, will involve struggles and wrestling's that Paul defined as "warfare."
Is your battle personal? Are you fighting fear, doubt, depression, physical problems, condemnation, obsessions, worry, despair or hopelessness? Is there an attitude, a habit, or a part of your flesh that is destroying you and you know it, but you can't seem to get a handle on it? Has your good intentions to win family and friends to the Lord now turned into a personal attack against you? Are you threatened by the hostility and hate of others or do you fear isolation and how others can hurt you? Are you disturbed by your own hardened heart? Then seek God for His deliverance because He has provided a way for each one of us in Christ. Set your love upon Him and He will deliver you. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all." "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
(Psalm 34:19, Psalm 34:4, Psalm 37:5)