If you are in Christ, you are in a war!
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. – 1 Peter 2:11 NASB
Traditionally we see the enemies of our soul as the world the flesh and the devil. These three powers and their armies array themselves against men and women of faith.
These, our enemies, utilize massive machines of war.
They come after us with evil intent.
Their objective–to lay waste to every Christ follower. They’ll try to take us out one by one, or in platoons.
They use disease.
They use hate.
They use crime.
They use natural disaster.
Our enemy–the chief mischief maker–comes only to steal, kill and destroy, by any means at his disposal.
So what are we to do?
How do we fight such a foe?
OK–I’m not sure you’ll believe me when I tell you.
You’ll say I’m oversimplifying it.
You’ll think I’m ignoring facts.
You’ll call me–no you wouldn’t do that–but–no, you won’t.
What if I told you, it’s all in your mind?
The whole thing–it’s in your mind.
Ben–you might say–Ben, it’s not in my mind. I’m sick. I’m emotionally wounded. I’m broken. How can you say it’s in my mind.
Hear me now. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I’m saying the battle–the war for your life starts in your mind. That’s where the attack comes. That’s where the firey darts land. That’s where the lies take hold.
Is your disease a lie. The symptoms don’t seem like a lie–do they?
Nope–real as can be.
So what then–pretend I’m not in pain with every step I take. Make believe I’m healthy when my body is wracked with pain.
But if we are ever going to turn this war around we need to change the way we’re thinking. We need to change the way we’re talking.
Paul tells us this about our war.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Is he just talking about spiritual things? Am I overstating the case when I try to apply this to all the evil in the world that turns against us? Can we actually deal with the triune evil of World–Flesh–devil with this supernatural weaponry?
The phrase that catches me in Paul’s description is this one about things that rise up against the knowledge of God.
You see Peter said,
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. – 2 Peter 1:4
Did you pick up on that? We become partakers of the divine nature by means of promises.
But promises are only words. What good can words do against all that rages in this world?
Jesus used words to calm the storm. David used words to defeat Goliath–ok–there was also that smooth stone. Hezekiah took the lying words of his enemy and laid them out for God to see and as good as dared God to move on his behalf.
Jesus told us
“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. – Mark 11:23
We let the chaos of the world around us, shake us. We tremble before a bad diagnosis. We fear the bill collector. The boss intimidates us and we lie and cheat for him.
Jesus never walked in fear, and our verse from Hebrews will tell us why.
“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”? – Hebrews 1:13
Jesus always fought from a place of peace, and He never lost. He brought peace to the storm from a place of peace in Himself. He cleaned the demoniac without so much as raising His voice. He even calmed Peter when he was trying to figure out how to pay his taxes.
The answer to our battles–everything from day to day stress–to debilitating disease–is this. Get into the presence of God, and get ready to put your feet up.
I love the image of a footstool. Jesus isn’t stomping on the head of demons in this picture. He’s putting His feet up as one does when the work is finished. He’s got his sandals off, His feet washed and upon His footstool because the battle is over. He won.
Do you see it? Find the promise of God for your situation and declare it over your life. Use your words to shut down the lies satan keeps playing in your head. Speak the Word, and don’t give place to the lies in your mind.
It’s your mind–take it back. Take every thought captive, and fill it with the truth.
Sorry if this was a bit of a ramble tonight–but well–not sorry.
See you on Monday.
You can catch up here.