“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Eph. 2:1-3 (ESV)
Before we came to salvation in Jesus Christ, Paul tells us that we lived under the control of 3 strong masters.
We lived under the control of the world, Satan, and our flesh.
When we came to faith in Jesus Christ, He broke the chains of these 3 masters.
However, He left us within hearing distance of their voices.
The chains of absolute control are gone…but the voices remain.
Unfortunately, the voices are very inviting.
They appeal to desires that still live within us.
Because the voices remain…and are alluring…we are in a struggle.
A struggle between our old ways…and the new life Jesus has called us to.
This is a struggle that will continue throughout our life.
If we choose to listen to those voices…some control can be regained. We may resume old habits, or fail to throw those old habits off.
We will think the chains remain…when in fact they are gone.
We have entered a life of battle…battle to ignore the alluring voices.
This is nothing less than warfare…spiritual warfare.
Though we are saved…we are at war with our flesh, the world around us, and a very real enemy.
Jesus saved us from a life of bondage…into a life of war.
This war will not end until Jesus returns and wins the victory.
Until that time…we remain in the war.
There are periods of battle…and periods of rest.
There will be personal victories…and occasional defeats.
There will be surprise attacks…
So we must never forget we live in a battlefield.
The voices are calling us over to the other side.
They make all kinds of promises…appealing promises.
We must learn to resist these voices…they are lying to us.
We’ll explore how to do this over the next few weeks…
Prayer: Lord, help me clearly discern the voices calling from my flesh, from the world, and from the enemy so that I can resist them.