The day you make a commitment to Jesus Christ, a very real spiritual war begins in your life. Conversion makes our hearts a battlefield.
The Bible often uses the picture of military battle, fighting, and warfare to describe the Christian life. Paul exhorted Timothy, “Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3 nkjv). He also wrote that he had “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7 nkjv).
Jesus told His own disciples, as they were going out into the world and being an influence for Him, that the gates of hell would not prevail against them as the church (see Matthew 16:18).
We may not fully understand the meaning of this phrase, but the disciples would have. In that day, when a military offensive was launched against a city, one of the first strategies was to bring in a battering ram, knock down the gate, and defeat the opposing army.
When it comes to the Christian life, we will either gain or lose ground. We will either win or lose. But we have to be involved in the spiritual battle. Spiritual pacifists will be knocked down, because the Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground.
It is up to us to fight the good fight of faith. So we need to suit up and learn the principles from God’s Word that teach us how to be more than conquerors in Jesus Christ.
First, we need to put on the full armor of God as we engage in the spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:11 tells us, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (nkjv).
The phrase “put on” carries the idea of doing something once and for all. It speaks of permanence. The full armor of God is not something we put on and then take off again. We are to keep it on all the time.
Second, we need to be aware of the fact that Satan is not the equal of God. The devil would like us to think that whatever God can do, he can do, as though they were two sides of the same force.
Although Satan is a powerful spirit being, he is far from God’s equal. You see, God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is omnipresent. God can do anything that He wants to do, anywhere and anytime.
Satan is none of those things. He has limitations as to what he can do.
Third, we need to realize that the devil will primarily attack us in the realm of the imagination. The apostle Paul mentioned this in 2 Corinthians 11:3: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (nkjv).
The devil knows that if he can get us to think about something, we are only a step away from actually doing it. He knows that our minds are “command central.” It is here that we reason. It is here that we remember. It is here that we dream.
Our minds are the hard drive, the place where everything originates. Satan knows that it is only a short step from a thought to an act.
Last, we need to understand that the devil works with two very close allies: the world and the flesh. “The world” is the world system that is hostile toward God. It is living for personal gratification, our own will above all else.
Then there is the flesh. When the Bible speaks of the flesh, it speaks more of the depraved, fallen human nature in which we are gratifying sensual appetites.
The apostle John gives us this definitive look at the flesh: “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16 nkjv). All temptation basically falls into one of these three categories: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
So realize that, in Jesus Christ, you have been positionally placed into the family of God. Don’t let the devil cheat you out of that truth. Live as a child of the King, and walk in close fellowship with Him.We may lose a skirmish here and a battle there. But no doubt about it, we will win the war.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.