The Christian life is not easy. If it’s easy than you need to seriously reexamine your spiritual life. Yes, life is a war, and the battlefields inevitably get messy.
Humans are naturally sinful, and when we overthrow Self and make Christ our King, we are still susceptible to sin.
The war I speak of is not very tangible. That’s one of the things that makes it hard to fight. That’s why God used the illustration of the “Full Armor of God” to provide some clarity on the topic.
The ‘War Inside Your Mind’ is the New Self vs. the Old Self. Constantly, part of us tells us what our sinful nature desires, and another part of us tells us what God wants. We all know the feeling. As Paul puts it:
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Later, and this is really profound, he says:
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
We’ve all heard of the angel on one shoulder, and the demon on the other. I don’t believe this is an accurate portrayal of the war waging inside of us. There’s not two equal beings taking turns giving arguments to us about the choices we should make. I prefer an analogy my youth pastor gave me: You bring a new couch into your room. However, it doesn’t match its surroundings. It just doesn’t fit. So every day, you remove all of the old junk. One by one, you cleanse your room.
That’s how it is with the Christian life. Once the Holy Spirit moves in, there’s no place for sin. It simply doesn’t belong. The sin remains, but you now have the ability to remove it. Because of what Christ did on the cross, we have the ability to evade the power of sin and it’s punishment!
Just like in a war, every battle counts. Every choice we make determines the next choice. We don’t just fight one battle, and move on to the next untainted. Once we make a decision to sin – once we make that decision to shut out the sound of the Holy Spirit, it makes it easier to make that decision the next time. In other words, when we lose a battle we lose ground.
Let me leave you with a challenge.
Examine your life. Are you winning the war against sin in your life? Are you daily struggling to remove sin from your room?
Well, you can’t win the war. You can’t win against sin by trying harder. You can’t – no one can except the one who defeated it in the first place. The one who killed the grave. The one who set us free. The one who fights our battles. He already won.
Give it to God. And fight your battles for Him.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13