THE WAR WITHIN – it just keeps raging!
An all-out battle rages inside every Christian.
OK – some Christians might have been able to quieten their consciences enough so that it is more like an occasional conflict than a battle, but those intent on doing the Master’s will would describe it as a full scale WAR.
The Bible describes this war in Galatians 5:17 . . . . The sinful nature wars against the Spirit and the Spirit wars against the sinful nature, and they are contrary to one another.
Paul described his own experience with this in Romans 7 where he tells of his battle with not doing the things he wanted to do but doing the things he didn’t want to do.
No temptation is easy to resist – or it wouldn’t be a temptation – but we do not face temptation on our own. We have God’s promises of victory when we call on Him for strength.
This simple story about two dogs might help:
The two dogs were equally fierce and exactly matched in physical strength. They were identical in everything except colour. The dogs fought.
They bit and tore, but because they were equal, neither was able to conquer. People conjectured on which dog would eventually win.
Then a man came along and announced he could make either one of them victorious over the other.
Asked how, he replied: “I would feed one of the dogs. That dog would become stronger with the nourishment while the other would become weaker. Then the dog which had been fed would always be victorious.”
The same procedure works with our temptations.
If I feed my old sinful nature by pursuing fleshly desires with worldly friends, or by soaking in unwholesome TV and other “entertainment” or participating in unChristian behaviour, or by keeping any area of temptation close by and focussing on it, the temptation will win.
However, if I feed the Spirit by feeding on the Word of God, praying, encouraging and being encouraged by associating with God’s people and busying myself in the service of Lord, the temptation is easily defeated.
James 4:7 Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Victory in Jesus!
Advice from Mr Anon:
## When we still our conscience by calling something a “necessary evil”
it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil.
## Fellowship with God is warfare with the world:
fellowship with the world is warfare with God.
## To resist the devil: submit to his enemy!
Hi. So true that we are in a warfare. What we must remember is that we are soldiers, not civilians. If we attempt to live the Christian life as civilians, we will constantly wonder why we are being shot at. But if we settle in our minds that we are frontline soldiers, then we will expect to be targets and act accordingly.
Remember also that our greatest enemy is the one we look at in the mirror every morning. That enemy we cannot defeat, so we must surrender completely to Him who has already defeated him and crucified him with Himself on Calvary.
I enjoyed reading your comment! You are so right, about our inner me, being our greatest enemy! Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, and always causes us to triumph! It is through His mighty power, that dwells within us! Without it, we are powerless to defeat the enemies of our souls! God bless you!
Thanks for your addition here Paulette.
I immediately started singing “Victory in Jesus”
Hi Brakelite. Thank you for your comment.
I totally agree that our biggest enemy is ourselves – the big “I”. Because of this I am so very thankful that “Greater is He who is IN you than he that is in the world”. I am so very thankful that satan is a defeated foe and that when I allow my Lord to have full control, HE grants victory.
“I” am useless. “I” am defeated. “I” can do nothing – but praise God that “Christ in me” defeats my “I” and is always victorious – but only when I call on Him, and therein lies the problem.
The message of this post is powerful! Satan is an unrelenting foe! Thank God, he is a defeated foe, as well! While reading the post, a Scripture came to mind. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (II Corinthians 6:17) We must not allow ourselves to be drawn away from spiritual things. We must strive to be spiritually minded, and not carnally minded. We must build up the spiritual man through prayer and reading God’s word, so that we will be able to resist the wiles of the devil! God bless. Great post!
2 Cor 6:17 is not a verse quoted much any more, though I use it quite a bit with the young people.
When I became a Christian 52 years ago it was very often quoted and preached on, but I can’t say I’ve heard it mentioned in a sermon for many years. Pity!
It is quite unfortunate! It is sad to say, That some church leaders will preach a “watered-down” gospel, and they are willing to compromise with their members, living any kind way, in order to keep the pews filled!
Sadly, I have to agree with you.
In todays world it seems as if a Christian’s life of separation from the evil of this world is not a common theme. And yet, how else can we be living testimonies for Christ?
May the Lord place on all our hearts the need to follow the dictates of “be ye holy for I am holy”.
May the Lord continue to bless you.
So true and so sad . . . separation and holiness, although two major themes throughout the whole of Scripture, are seldom mentioned in Churches today.
When I became a Christian, we were known for our negatives . . . we DON’T drink, smoke, swear, gamble, go to the movies, work or play sport on Sundays etc. Now with the advent of TV we bring the movies (and the immorality and bad language in them) right into our living rooms, and young people have grown up accepting what is portrayed there as “normal” and followed their examples.
While Christians SHOULDN’T be known for their negatives but SHOULD demonstrate the life of Christ within by their POSITIVES, the negative aspect is also important.
When we feed our minds and appetites with garbage, we will produce garbage. We become no different from “the world” and the image of Christ we reflect is blurred and false.
We need to get back to basics and become REAL disciples, reflecting a true image.
I have heard the “dog” illistration many, many times in my life. It’s one of my favorites as well.
~ Heather Joy
I’ve been using this illustration for about 30 years. It particularly appeals to young people and ones I have met m-a-n-y years later say they still think of that illustration and make sure they feed the right dog.
Thank you for this post. Within these past three years, I have learned just how much power is available by audibly calling on the name of the Lord (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Time and again I have awoke from a dark dream, calling out loud on the name of the three separate personages of the trinity. What peace, knowing that God is our strength and power.
Regarding your quote from Mr. Anon:
| When we still our conscience by calling something a “necessary evil”it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil. |
This reminds me of a directly related post on Truth Behind Reality; “Frog in the Frying Pan”. The degree to which our conscience remains tender is the degree to which we remain fully conscious; alive and fully alert to God’s life-saving beckon call.
Yes, I have used the frog in the boiling water illustration many times. Temptations and bad habits have a habit of creeping up on us without our recognition. We need to keep our conscience ALIVE and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
There is soooooooooo much power available to us when we call on the Name of the Lord. If I had a dollar for every time calling on His Name has delivered me, I’d be a milli0naire. Of myself I can do NOTHING, but in HIS strength, I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37