THE BATTLE

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-12

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

We Christians must realize that we are involved in warfare. We face opposition every day. Our three great enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is that system of evil that stands against God and His people, and is the environment that brings out the worst of fallen human nature. We are given many warnings about the world — “Do not love the world or the things in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17). The world does all it can to bring out the worst in us.

The flesh is a term that refers to the sinful nature of all human beings, which was inherited from our father Adam. For believers, the flesh is the remnant of that sinful nature that remains in us after our conversion. Believers constantly live in a fierce inward battle between the flesh and the Spirit — “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17). This inward battle is real and it is intense.

The third great enemy is the devil. Satan is a fallen angel with great power who stands in opposition against God. Thus, we are given this warning — “Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (I Peter 5:8,9). Over the next few days, we will examine the passage in Ephesians that deals with our battle with Satan and his host.

Be aware of these three great enemies — the world, the flesh, and the devil. Be prepared for the battles that will come from each of them. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

Lord Jesus, prepare me for the battles I will face today. Keep me from loving the world and falling into its many traps to cause me to dishonor You. Grant me the ability to yield myself to Your Spirit and not to my flesh. And give me the power to resist the devil and to stay firm in my faith.

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