Summary: Message 13 in our series of messages exploring the three foundational elements of a balanced healthy walk. This message focuses on our need to resist the pull of the flesh.
“The Battle Within”
We have a continuous battle waged against our soul. The objective of this war
• Divert devotion and loyalty from the King of kings
• Promote devotion and loyalty to the prince of the power of the air.
The battle rages on the level of the soul.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its de-sire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:16-17
Satan fights to capture the mind, will and emotions of man and thus determine man’s be-havior. God renews the mind which brings about transformation of the soul and the behav-ior.
The players in this war.
Satan or the devil is the commander and chief of an army of evil spirits or demons who do his every bidding to obtain his objective.
Divert devotion form Christ
Draw devotion to himself.
Satan has assembled a society of people called the world, who arrange their lives by his way of thinking. The plan is to deceive people as to the source of true fulfillment and meaning in life. The plan is to convince the creature that life can be found apart from abso-lute dependence on God and offer suggestions as to as to how it can happen. The devil himself seeks to live life completely independent from God and wants followers who look to him and his world for life. The point is, that no matter how good or how close his sug-gestions concerning true life appear, it is NOT eternal life. It is counterfeit. Like a counter-feiter, no matter how good or promising or how rewarding the results of fooling a few, it is not real money and will eventfully land you in jail. The wages of a life without God is death, not life. Jesus sternly warned the Laodocians that they should find their wealth in Him alone. Satan employs an army of evil spirits to energize and manipulate a society of people called the world which continually appeals to the base drives of the flesh for pleas-ure, possessions and prestige resulting in a people dedicated to seeking life apart from identification with Christ.
God on the other hand employs and army of angelic beings under the direction of the Holy Spirit to energize and motivate a special society of people called the church who continual-ly appeal to the newly established longings love God and others selflessly, trust God con-tinually, live life righteously which results in a people dedicated to seek life through identi-fication with Christ. We live smack the middle of a battle between two opposite societies. The world and the church. The soul lies in the crossfire between two conflicting sets of drives deeply ingrained in the newly reborn spirit and the old flesh.
Behind it all are the conflicting purposes of God and his angels and the devil and his an-gels. There are only two sides to this conflict. You are either moving toward deeper com-munion with God as He intended in the first place or you are moving toward deeper bond-age to Satan. The principles we have been exploring for the past several months are the path to a life realized through identification with Christ. These principles move us into deeper communion with God.
I. Continually cultivate a dynamic relationship with Him.
II. Persistently pursue, develop and maintain meaningful community within the body of Christ.
III. Resolutely resist the world the flesh and the devil
In order to come out on the winning side of this battle for your soul, you must learn to fight.
A. Renew and purify Your heart
In order to do that, God must establish a new base of operation through death to the old base of operation. From that new base, God purifies the soul through his cleaning crew. The soul must be purified first by a supernatural act of God in sanctification, Second through continual personal confession and repentance on our part. For the last two weeks now, we have talked about our battle against the world system. That devil assembled and deceived society of people and their inventions dedicated to seek and realize life apart from dependent relationship with God.
B. Refuse conformity with the World
The Bible clearly instructs us as to our relationship with the world You will not succeed in your battle with the flesh until you have clearly established your relationship with the world system that energizes and influences the flesh.
1 – Don’t love it or be friends with it, but turn your eyes upon Jesus
2 – Don’t listen to its enticement, but encourage one another daily
3 – Don’t be captivated by it or its stuff, but die to it.