~ The World – The Flesh – The Devil ~
These are three great foes which every Christian faces regularly! The Christian receives opposition from 1) the Culture Around us, 2) the Flesh Within us, and 3) the Devil Against us.
The World (around us) ~ The world refers to the world system and its values which surround us. Anyone familiar with the Word of God knows these norms are contrary to the teaching of Scripture. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?” (James 4:4-5).
remedy: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).
The Flesh (within us) ~ “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:16-17). Jesus Christ said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, material things]” (Matthew 6:24).
remedy: “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-5).
The Devil (against us) ~ “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
remedy: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
The Bottom Line ~ Our battle is spiritual, not physical, therefore the only remedies are spiritual. The Word of God and the Spirit of God will build our faith so that we can be increasingly victorious while we wait for the return of our Savior. As we attentively listen to these two great resources we will be putting on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-20 – see 9 previous posts in February 2014).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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