Spiritual Warfare

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19)

Do you ever feel that way? Dear God, I’ve done it again. That sin which so easily ensnares me has won again. Why?

Paul admits that “the trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.” (Romans 7:14)

We live engaged in spiritual warfare. We have been saved and given a new spiritual nature, BUT residually a degree of the old sin nature resides in us.

We have three basic opponents in our spiritual warfare. One, the devil and/or his demonic horde. The devil affects us but minimally. He has demonic agents to do his dirty work. We often give them more credit than they deserve.

The second enemy is the world around us which wars against us. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (I John 5:4)

The third one causing most of our moral and spiritual failures is (drum roll) our old sin nature. We all have an old sin nature which lives in every cell of our body. There is nothing good that can come from the old sin nature.

How are we to combat it? I Peter 1:13 tells us “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…”

In Romans 7:14-25 Paul talks about an internal battle with sin, with sin forcing him to act contrary to his desires. And then in Romans 8:5 he says that “Those who live according to the flesh [sin] have their minds set on what the flesh [sin] desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” You choose.

Roman soldiers wore attractive long tunics. In battle they would have been a liability. Therefore, before going into battle they would gather up the tunic and tuck it into their belt. They were girding up their loins preparing for battle. The instruction is to gather up everything that hinders us in our spiritual warfare and tuck it away. Only you know what personally hinders you in your spiritual warfare. Tuck it away before the battle (temptation). What is it in your life?

Scripture says, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

This means you have one weakness that is greater than any other. Do you know what it is? Satan does.

I have a childish mental picture of this. If you are not going into the house stay off the porch. The Bible says we are to “flee” sin. That means run from the temptation so fast as to kick-up dust.

Then reflect on what Calvary cost, and what it has provided for you. Keep in mental reserve a Scripture or Scriptures you can recall as a defense against any attack. When under attack, immerse your thoughts in Jesus. 

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)