Last week we discussed an unseen war - a war extending perhaps to the unseen and unknown reaches of what we call the Universe itself. Another physical war (although of spiritual origin) within every cell or every organ of our bodies. This includes the physical brain of every human.
However, every human brain contains what the Bible refers to as a “spirit” (Job 32:8). As incomprehensible as it seems, the vastness of the human brain exceeds in complexity the Universe of the heavens above us. Even as astronomers continue to discover new wonders of the Universe, so also researchers continue to explore the vastness of the brain. They have mapped it, but understanding it still eludes them. The element of the human “spirit”, is not be confused with the “spirit” (breath) of animals. When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, something extra came with it which was a part of God Himself, which enabled us to be called by Him as “after Our likeness“ (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, even as God is incomprehensible, so is also that spirit in man which is after His likeness.
As we have seen, there is a kind “war of the worlds” continuing even as you read these words. But the most intense, ferocious and violent war is going on within the world of the spirit - within your mind and mine. Most in the world do see or believe there is a battle. Therefore, they see nothing to resist. This battle for your mind involves at least three definable adversaries: our own fallen natures; the world around us; and Satan who controls and manipulates the first two (2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:18}. These are separate in some ways, but combine into a larger war for the totality of out lives in Christ.
As for the world around us, the Apostle John describes this war: “Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. - 1 John 2:15-16 AB).
Among the human engines that drive these things in us are discontent, competitiveness, insecurity - the list goes on. The downward pulls of these things with all that they involve, are warring constantly with our spirit. If we belong to Jesus Christ, our spirit - even our whole body - is a temple for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our fallen natures with its tendencies, Satan will attempt to manipulate and lead us to resist the Holy Spirit’s work in us. He is constantly roaming the earth (Job 1:7), seeking out those he can destroy spiritually (1 Peter 5:8). He knows us better than we do, but not better than the Holy Spirit does. In this war in our minds and hearts, Satan knows every tactic to use against us. But the Holy Spirit is there to defend us- if we let Him.
This brings us to your part in your war. Unfortunately some live as if they are not involved in a war. Like there is nothing they are to do be wait for Christ’s return. Our part is to resist Satan and be familiar with his wiles (James 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 5:9; 2 Corinthians 2:11). As in any war, in order to win one must know the enemy’s tactics. We can know these in two ways: first, by searching the Word of God for instructions on preparing for battle, what weapons to use, and most of all, how to be loyal to the Head of the army and nation in which we serve. Second, we can know the next offensive move by, not only the written word of God, but by direct guidance by our Commander-In-Chief, Jesus Christ.
The Apostles understood the Christian life to be a war (1 Timothy 1:18) - a war with greater importance for the individual than any war that has ever been, or ever will be fought. There are eternal consequences for all combatants. Wars of mankind are designed to kill in order to win. Some must die in order for others to live. In one sense, it is also true with our spiritual war. In spiritual warfare, One has died so that others might live. But sadly, many do not understand that once Christ died to pay for our sin, there must be more dying. The wages (payment) for our sin is death. The death sentence has been lifted. Now, the one who must die is the person we once were before we knew and accepted His death so that we might filled with a new life (Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9).
It is a war for the mind and spirit, which unless it is won has very negative consequences for you. This is a very personal war, going on inside of all of us who know Christ, or rather who are known by Him (2 Timothy 2:19). Satan must do all he can to hinder the progress of you being formed in Christ's image. And there is much you and I must do. The objective of the Holy Spirit in our spirit is to help you until Christ is formed in you, and you in Him. The Apostle Paul uses a profound metaphor for this unseen personal warfare in a true Christian:
“...be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, and having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).” - Ephesians 6:10-18 (AB)
Please notice that the last but not the least preparation for your next battle is prayer…prayer for others in their war, and prayer for yours. Their battle is also your battle. And your battle is also their battle.
If you are deligent in these things, you will be more than a warrior in this world - you will be a conqueror in your unseen war...and the victory celebration will last forever.
"What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?](G) He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [m]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:31-39 (AB)
''Christ in You...'' Copyright 2020 © Dale Krebbs. ''Christ in You...'' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to https://www.liveasif.org/ 2) ''Christ in You...'' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.