Before individuals accept Christ as their Savior, they are ruled by their flesh, or sinful nature—a nature predisposed to sin. However, when a person accepts Christ as his or her Savior, a new nature is born, ruled by God’s Spirit. Yet the old spirit remains, thus, creating the great civil war that will be ongoing for the rest of their life. Satan takes full advantage of the struggle between the old nature (the flesh) and the new nature (God’s Spirit). His first attempt will be to weaken our new nature by tempting our old nature with distractions meant to diminish our desire to study the Bible or spend time with God in prayer. p 46, 3rd edition FD
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:8
In All circumstances?
How can we be thankful for the not so good circumstances?
I have come to understand the answer to this question quite vividly as I was counseled by God during the writing of Fiery Darts.
For too many years, my walk with God was characterized by more defeat than victory. Then, just a few years ago, I began to experience a gradual, yet powerful, transformation in my faith walk. As God continued to shed light on the darkness, which had plagued my walk with Him, I began to identify the source of my defeat. It became glaringly clear that negative thinking was at the core of my problematic walk with God. p. 14 FD 3rd edition
I learned to identify the great civil war (p.44 FD) that was going on within me. Eventually, I became more skilled in distinguishing between the thoughts originating from my flesh, my natural bent, and those which were being whispered to me by God.
Finally, the attacks from my enemy, which were designed for my defeat, began to fall short of their mark. With every trial, I gained more strength, as long as I saw it from God’s perspective and rejected the fiery darts!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 NIV