On the Battleground
B eing a follower of Jesus Christ is not easy. It is not the rules, “can’t do’s” or “should do’s” that make it dif_cult to follow Jesus.
What makes the journey dif_cult is the daily _ght of faith.
Some days I want to share a piece of my mind with others. Other days, it is easier not to say anything and let people continue their journey undisturbed by me.
Some days I am up for the _ght of faith and some days I am not. Faith is a _ght, a constant battle, and the battle_eld is in the mind.
The apostle Paul knew the battle of faith well. He tells of the battle from three different perspectives in three letters he wrote, Romans, 2 Corinthians and Galatians.
This battle was fought between his esh – earthly desires, and his spirit – spiritual desires. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of esh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very things I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with Law, confessing that the Law is good … For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my esh; for the willing is not present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Romans 7:14-19).
Paul continues, “Oh wretched man that I am!
Who will set me free from the body of this death?”
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my esh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25).
Paul stated the battle plainly. On the one hand there is my esh, my earthly desires battling it out with my spirit, my spiritual desires.
I am sad to say, somedays my esh wins, I much rather say that my spirit wins, but all too often, it does not.
Placing your faith in Jesus will lead you into a battle against your earthly desires.
Paul’s perspective then focused on how one overcomes these earthly desires that are so very strong.
Paul, in his second letter to the Christians living in the city of Corinth wrote, explaining where this battle occurs and more importantly, how to win.
“For though we walk in the esh, we do not war according to the esh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the esh, 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” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). This is how we overcome temptation and sin. Finally, Paul’s last perspective comes after years of the daily battle of faith.
We read, “I have been cruci_ed with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the esh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).
When the apostle Paul wrote this, he had already suffered a great deal for the life he lived for Jesus. In the letter of Galatians, Paul wrote about his coming through the battle and realizing that the battle between the physical and the spiritual never ends while we breath air.
Paul was not saying he was physically cruci_ed with Christ, he was stating that spiritually, he and every other follower of Jesus has been cruci_ed with Christ on the Cross. I know this and understand this, but the remainder of the verse proves to be dif_cult – that Christ “gave Himself up for me”. Christ gave himself for you too. The power to overcome does not exist in us, the power is in Jesus Christ.
The more I know God, I am better able to identify the things that rise up against God, for instance, greed, sel_shness, pride – the eshly desires. If there is no battle in one’s mind, one should be very concerned as to the status of their relationship with Christ.
Pulling down the strongholds is a spiritual work.
We must remember three important facts in our _ght.
First, on the Cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.
Second, Jesus redeemed us from the penalty of sin (physical and eternal death). Third, there is the Knowledge of God’s Word. Correctly applying the Word of God in life situations is key to success in the battle_eld of the mind.
Are you getting the Word of God to _ght the battle between your esh and your spirit?
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at [email protected]