Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We will have struggles! Scripture promises us when we decide to follow Jesus we will have struggles. Jesus even said it himself. If you follow me, you will have trials & tribulations. Many Christians are misled to think following Jesus will make their lives a rose garden. While I know Jesus helps us in our lives and desires to lead us and guide us, we will have to go through some stuff. Often times we don’t understand what’s going on in the midst of our struggle, Jesus has a reason and a purpose for the struggle! Often He is trying to teach us something.
It’s also important to understand who our struggle is with. Notice Paul says first what it’s not. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Our struggle is not against each other. It’s against rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We are in a war! I’m afraid most American Christians are totally oblivious to this obvious Scriptural fact. From the moment of our salvation, Satan has been out to steal, kill and destroy us, our families and everything in our lives. That’s the bad news, the good news is Jesus is for us. He came to give us life and to give it to us abundantly. The problem is we have free will. So Satan can’t force us to do anything, but he can lie and try to deceive us. Every Christian that has fallen, has fallen because he believed a lie from the enemy.
The good news is Jesus has given us everything we need to live a successful Christian life. We have His Word, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us and we have guardian angels to help us. The tools Jesus has given us to work with are only good if we know they are there and we know how to use them. Satan tries to keep us ignorant so we won’t know how to combat him. Jesus tries to equip us so we will know how to combat him. The question is, whose voice are we going to listen to?
The more we read and study God’s Word, the more we are feeding our Spirit man. Our Spirit man needs nutrition as much as our earthly body’s do. The more we read and study God’s Word, the better we understand who God is, we learn His heart and we begin to see things from His perspective. The more we don’t read and study His Word, the emptier our Spirit man is and the easier it is for Satan to control our thinking either through his deception or through the culture in which we live.
Most of our struggle is either from being so depleted spiritually that we can’t discern between God’s voice and Satan’s voice whispering in our ear or we are so fleshly or selfish we argue with God because it’s not in line with what we want to do. Sometimes Satan will just lead us where we want to go when we are spiritually depleted.
The key to our struggle is to feed our Spirit man and to actively be killing our old man! We must choose to die to self and we must choose to take up our cross and follow Jesus! We must choose to get into God’s Word and to consume it and to let it consume us!
Consumed by the call,