Tag Archive | fleshly nature

The Great Civil War

the-war-within

     No, I’m not referring to the battle between the North and the South of 1861-1865. I am referring to the ongoing present-day battle between our fleshly nature (pleasing ourselves) and the spirit of Christ within us. Let’s allow God’s Word to illustrate:

 

Romans 8:5-8 NIV

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

As Christians, we must ask ourselves, “What is our mind set on?” 

Was our mind set on spending time with God in prayer and His word at anytime this day?

Was our mind set on pleasing God with our words, attitudes, and actions as we proceeded through our day?

Was our mind set on seeking God’s will as we faced the problems of our day?

What is our mind set on when we encounter suffering?

What is our mind set on when others wound or attack us?

What is our mind set on when we are tempted to fear?

What is our mind set on when we are tempted to judge another’s actions?

     This is not an all-inclusive list of questions, but enough I hope to prompt an evaluation. How we answer these questions reveals who rules our desires. If our mind is set on pleasing God, then our enemy will make certain to come against us. The war between our flesh and God’s Spirit within us ensues. Our civil war indicates the presence of God’s Spirit actively fighting against our fleshly desires.

But if there is no civil war, then it’s imperative to our eternal existence that we answer this question: Why not?

 

Identifying the Enemy.

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 We have an enemy that must be identified! After horrible tragedies like the one we saw in Parkland, Fl., we grasp at an array of judgements in a frantic attempt to identify the enemy. Tragically, we chase one argument after another, never zeroing in on who the real enemy is.  We can become so distracted by these arguments that the real enemy remains hidden. 

   Obviously, Satan is our enemy, our adversary. He is the one who cunningly designs temptations that will steal, kill, and destroy (from John 10:10a).  Satan tempts that part of us that wants our own way and doesn’t like to be told what to do…that part that seeks to exalt ourselves…our fleshly nature. 

Consider the following:

What we think determines how we feel, and what we feel influences our actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking. Understandably, if Satan can negatively influence our thinking, then the temptation to act negatively will be hard for us to resist… p. 27, FD 3rd edition

   The weapon of negative thinking or fiery darts, is Satan’s most powerful weapon. But how is it that we as Christians, and even those who aren’t Christians, can be so easily manipulated and deceived? Sad to say, it’s very simple: 

When we don’t spend enough time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth generally begins to define our thinking. p. 43, FD 3rd edition

Of course, for those who have rejected God, it is obvious how they have been blinded to God’s Truth. The world’s concept of truth and their sinful nature defines truth for them and God’s Truth bears little, if any, weight. Satan’s job of manipulation, therefore, takes little effort. p. 43 FD, 3rd edition

   Fiery darts are designed to create a wedge of sin between us and God. Eventually, we will become blinded to the Truth, and we will be deceived into rejecting God’s plan for our lives.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10b NKJV

   Thought by thought our lives will take a downward turn. And individual by individual our country will spiral downward, as well. However, there is hope, if we genuinely desire healing for ourselves and for our country!

 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV