There is such a constant battle between what God wills and what Satan wills! I used to hardly think of Satan . . . or God for that matter. I felt like everything was up to me, my thoughts and my decisions and if I was tempted. . . well of course, that was my fault too and it was a sin (or so I thought).
I’ve come to understand Satan whispers lies into my heart to pull me away from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ by trying to convince me I am just not good enough, I think too highly of myself or too lowly, I am foolish and know nothing worth saying, and I can never make a positive difference in the world so I should just give up. When I hear these things I have to choose how I will respond. I can either choose to give into temptation, which would lead to sin; or through the grace of God I can choose to throw back my head and tell him he won’t have his way because I can fight for joy and find my confidence in Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “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 prove the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Isn’t God wonderful?
This isn’t just a fairytale I’ve heard with imaginary forces of good and evil. The power of these forces is real and this is the way God makes me ready for battle, these are the instructions and tools he’s given:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV)
I was also reminded of 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
. . . This is continued in my next post.