Jump Start # 3202
2 Corinthians 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”
Our verse today identifies two important aspects of our faith. First, we are engaged in a battle. There are certain things that are opposed to our walk with Christ. There are certain things that we can never be on the same page with. Opposite directions. Opposite intentions. Opposite purposes. Second, this battle that we are fighting is a spiritual battle. We are of the flesh, but the war is not that way. It’s an internal spiritual battle.
From this, there are some things we need to remember:
First, each person must face his own personal battles. There are battles that we may all be a part of, such as keeping a congregation true to God’s word, but personally, and individually, each of us fight our own war. All of us do. The preacher does. The shepherds do. The Bible class teacher does. And, our battles are just that, personal and internal. We may not know what the next person is going through, but one thing for sure, if they are a disciple of Jesus, there is a tug of war going on within them. Satan is strong and he will find your weak points and he won’t let up.
It’s easy to look at another person and think, his battle is nothing compared to mine. But it is. His battle may not even be a battle within you, but for him it is. Some really struggle with drinking alcohol. Just to look at it, makes them weak and wanting some. For others, they can walk right through the liquor section of a grocery store and not even give it a passing thought. For others, it’s the obsession with money and buying things. It’s always on their minds. Yet, for others, they rarely think about money. Pride for some. Lust for others. Each one of us has our own battle.
Your battle may not be mine, but we both carry the scars of war. I may not understand yours and you may not understand mine, but we both know struggle and the fight is about the desire to do what is right. Your temptation may knock on the door of my heart and I may not even answer the door. But when mine knocks, the battle begins. Do I open the door and let temptation in or do I say, “Go away?”
Sometimes we can be rather judgmental and critical of others because their temptation seems so easy to resist. That is how we see it. But for the person in the midst of the battle, it’s a different story.
Second, God wants us to be kingdom minded and to be victorious over Satan. Be alert, Peter warns us about Satan. James tells us to resist. And, passage after passage helps us with winning this spiritual battle. God’s word is powerful. God’s word works. The stronger our faith becomes, the more we can win these battles.
And, so much of our choices will help us or hurt us in this battle. We understand this when we contrast the bright orange vests that hunters wear and the camouflage uniforms that the military wear. We can make ourselves easy targets by hanging out with the wrong people, watching the wrong shows, and not feeding our faith. If our military wore bright orange vests and hats into combat, they wouldn’t survive. Is it any wonder that we fall repeatedly when we continue to make choices that hurt us rather than help us. God has provided the weapons for victory. God has given us vivid examples to follow. God realizes the power of fellowship and worship. You don’t fight these spiritual battles alone nor on your own. The help of God is there.
Third, in most all wars, there are casualties. This is true of the spiritual battles we face. When we lose the battle, Satan gains a foothold in our heart and in our lives. The next time he comes around, it will be a lot easier for him to have his way. Lose enough battles and one loses the war. Spiritually, that means, our soul is lost. Satan wins.
But even when we resist Satan, and the battle belongs to the Lord, there are casualties. It may come from family and friends who no longer want to be around you. It may come from co-workers who talk about you in a negative way. It may cost you to stand with the Lord. Rather than being dishonest, you are honest. You are honest about the things you sell. Concealing things could bring you more money, but cheating someone is losing a battle. Satan wins. Being honest may mean you are given a ticket for driving too fast. You could make up some story, but that’s not the case. Following Jesus comes with a cost.
There is a battle going on inside of you everyday. Some days you get weary of the war. Some days you just want Satan to go away. Some days your heart says, “Come, Lord Jesus.” But as the hymn goes, “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before.”
Fight the good fight of faith, the apostle told the young preacher. And, so the battle rages on. Be strong. Be prayerful. Stay close to the Lord and never take your eyes off of Him.