Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Two Enemies

As a child, I was taught about our enemy Satan, otherwise known as the Devil. I was told that he was out to get us and he has a whole army of demons with him. What I understood the difference between God and Satan was God is good and Satan is bad. But no one mentioned the enemy that was the closest and most difficult to understand, my own flesh.

Some still misunderstand the powers between God and Satan. Some think of them as two opposing sides of equal strength. Satan loves for us to believe that, so he continues to perpetrate that lie. Fortunately for us that is false, our Almighty God is supreme, Satan has absolutely no chance of success.

Whatever purpose Almighty God had for not crushing Satan and his rebellion against God's authority when it happened, is a mystery. Perhaps it is the same mystery we experience when we are not immediately punished for our sin, but we do experience the consequences. I believe it is God’s mercy and his all-encompassing knowledge that brings all things into his will for his glory and fulfillment of his plans.

When I first began walking with the Lord, I would often wonder why God told Adam that he could consume anything but, stay away from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil? I now understand the Lord never wanted them to know anything but his goodness and provision. He also desired their trust and obedience to his authority. But if Adam were not given a choice, then his love and worship would have been meaningless. God desires honesty and true commitment, not mindless homage.

We were all born with the heritage of Adam, wanting to live life on our own terms, doing things on our own way. Even those of us who have been born again into the new life Jesus purchased for us, still struggle with obeying God because we still live in these flesh bodies.

The Bible instructs us on how to succeed in overcoming these two enemies, First Paul told us to “Put on the whole armor of God, so that we can stand against the strategies and tricks of the Devil” (Ephesians 6:13-18). This is vital to our success in our daily walk.

Satan deceived Eve, by a carefully laid a trap. He made it seem as though disobeying was not that bad, by saying “they would not die” (Genesis 3:4). That is Satan’s primary strategy to trick you into believing a “watered down” version of God’s Word. He is a master of deceit, so we must not only know God’s Word but also cling to it. Jesus stood victoriously against Satan when he was tempted. (Luke 4: 1-13). We must take God at His Word and believe the promises he has made.

The second enemy is our own flesh. The Bible instructs us how to take charge of the flesh, by surrendering ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. When we learn how to say “no” to our flesh and “yes” to the Spirit’s leading, we will have continual victory over evil thoughts and attitudes that dishonor our Lord.

“If your sin nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sin nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s Law and it never will. That is why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit, if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all” (Romans 8:6-9 NLT).

With the Spirit of God in us, we will have victory over both of these enemies that are in constant battle against the plans the Lord has for us. Stand firm in the truth you know. Don’t let Satan rob you of the truth of your salvation and all the promises God has made to you. Stand firm against your flesh; get rid of the world’s way of living and thinking. Don’t let it rob you of the living testimony of Jesus Christ to the world.

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