or not we want to accept it, we are in the midst of a battle.
All around us there is a battle-taking place in the Spiritual
realms, both inward and outward. Through the Spirit, we can
become aware of this battle and know how live in victory, rather
then defeat. Understanding the dynamics of the battle, and how
we are to engage the enemy is vital if we want victory. For
example, what if you were an army trying to engage an enemy and
stop its advance, but you did not even know where the attack was
coming from? You would be at the mercy of chance, hoping your
army has enough force to repulse an attack when it comes. On
the other hand, if your army had “intelligence” about the enemy,
you could plan for their attack and their reply.
through the Holy Spirit allows us to see our enemy and become
aware of the spiritual war. Without the scriptures, we
would be fighting an invisible unknown enemy, without even
knowing we are at war. The Bible, revealed through the Spirit
of God, has unveiled the invisible world, which surrounds us.
In this spiritual world, we have an enemy who is at war with us,
and wants to stop the kingdom of God from advancing. Satan and
his fallen angels are the enemy! They seeks to take destroy us,
making us ineffective against their work. There is a battle
raging all around us, and the tools of Satan are fully engaged
in this battle.
Satan uses our
old man and our fallen nature to war with us in the spiritual
realms, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us prepares us for the
spiritual battle ahead. Through scripture and conviction, God’s
spirit prepares us for battle. Paul in Ephesians chapter 6
describes the equipment of a spiritual warrior.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against
spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13
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. 14
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put
on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your
feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all,
taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of
salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and
supplication for all the saints
Therefore, as spiritual warriors we need to know, we
are in a battle, and since we are in battle, we should put
together our own battle plan, so we can live the victorious
life, advancing the Kingdom of God.
Preparing for the battle
How is the battle waged against us? As we shall see,
this battle is waged in the minds of humanity, through whom;
events in the physical world are transacted. We are spiritual
beings inside a physical body; the war waged is in the
battlefield of the mind. Satan is conducting a war in the
spiritual realm, engaging our mind in the battle.
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who
are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded,
who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them
2 Corinthians 4:4
Here Satan is called the god of this age, who
blinds the lost so they cannot see the Gospel. The mind of
humanity is Satan’s battleground; Satan is not fighting a
physical war, but a spiritual one, attacking soul and spirit of
man. Satan and his fallen angels accomplish this task in the
spiritual realms, by lies and deception, appealing to the fallen
When we come to Christ, our mind and thinking
transform through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
We however play a role, where we can yield control of “self” to
God’s Spirit, or resist. If we yield control of ourselves to
the Spirit, we will be filled with the Spirit, as the Lord takes
and molds our life into the image of Christ. As much as we yield
ourselves, we become more like Christ. For this reason in
Romans chapter 12, we read about our need to be human
sacrifices, sacrificing the desires of our old nature, being
transformed by “the renewing of your mind”. Our old nature has
a fallen way of thinking, susceptible to the deceptions of
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We need to
recognize the battle is not ours, but the Holy Spirit living
within. The hardest thing for many believers is to get out of
the Spirit’s way. We refuse to give control of ourselves over
and so we constantly in the midst of the struggle for control.
Before a battle
can be waged, we need to know where the war is. Where does the
First, we have
to understand the battle is within, a stone idol does not make
us sin, nor does what someone wears, its what we do with those
images within. The choices we choose to make. The attack is
through our old fallen nature and the temptations which surround
us. Second, we have the ability to choose, we are not helpless
in this struggle.
Robertson McQuilkin, author of Life in the Spirit,
there are four steps to attaining victory over our old nature
and establishing a battle plan.
1. We need to
surrender “self” to the Spirit
2. Identify the
source of temptation
the Roots of Sin
1. We need to surrender “self” to the Spirit
course of action is to surrender our self to the Lord. Are we
willing to give up the areas in our life? Romans 12 refer to our bodies being a “living
sacrifice”. What exactly does this mean? In the days of the
Jewish priesthood, living animals were scarified; they gave up
their lives to atone for the sins of others. In the same way,
they gave up their lives, we should give up our past life, and
we should be willing to sacrifice our old nature.
Thereby, we become a “living sacrifice”.
after you come to Christ your friends invite you to a bar, which
has more then just drinks and chips. You feel the Spirit groan
within about going to such a place. You hear a voice within
saying you are going to be left out of all the fun and
friendship. What do you do? Do you sacrifice this part of your
These are just
some examples, of what it means to be a living sacrifice; you
must be willing to cede control of your life to the Holy
2. Identify the source of temptation
Once we make
the conscience effort to surrender our lives, we next need to
identify, where the source of our temptation lies. What is the
source of our temptation? The Bible is very clear; Satan is a
roaring lion, looking for prey to devour.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same
sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. I
We make the
choice when tempted, when we give in to our temptations we are
drawn away into sin, when the desire overpowers our new nature.
This eventually leads to death, both physically and spiritual
if left unchecked.
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own
desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it
gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth
circumstances around me play the role in my sin, these include;
thoughts, desires, impulses
limits the degree of temptation; Satan is only permitted with so
much liberty with his temptations. God allows Satan to tempt
us, because our faith is being tried, through these
temptations. In the book of Job, we see Satan in action, he
however complains about Job, because he is protected by hedge
(Job 1;10), which he is not permitted to cross. This also
applies to us. God has made a way out with each temptation;
Satan is only permitted to go so far. Ultimately, God allows
temptation, though God Himself tempts no one.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond
what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the
way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. I Corinthians
tempted Jesus, with the same process. In Luke 4, Satan tempted Jesus using the same appeals
he does to us. In each case, Jesus rebuked Satan with
1. He tempted
Jesus to prove he was the Son of God, by turning stones into
bread, while he was hungry.
2. He tempted
Jesus with power, turning over his authority of earth’s kingdoms
if Jesus would worship him.
3. He tempted
Jesus with pride, by daring Jesus to cast Himself from the top
of the Temple, to demonstrate his importance.
Satan uses the
same methods on us, appealing to our desires.
3. Recognize the Root Sin
Satan uses the
desires the natural desires we have and perverts them, tempting
us so we can fall into sin. Robertson McQuilkin delineates the
process of sin, and our need to understand what we are fighting.
Have you ever
stopped to analyze just what temptation is? It doesn’t look bad,
it looks good; otherwise it wouldn’t tempt. And actually God is
the one who designed our desires in the first place. God created
us to enjoy our bodies, to possess things, to amount to
something. But we are forever trying to fulfill those desires
in the wrong way. And that’s sin. So the next step in our
strategy is to identify the enemy, discriminate between what is
temptation and what isn’t. If I don’t even recognize my enemy,
how can I fight successfully?
We are born
with natural desires, designed by God without which we would
just die off as a race. There is a desire for sex, without it
there would be no children. We have a desire to eat, without
such we would starve. We have a desire to own things, such as
clothes and shelter. All of these are part of our natural
design, God created humanity with desires.
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. I
these desires, and causes us to be tempted into sin. Therefore,
we need understand, why we sin, what is causing us to act the
way we do. Do we hate somebody, because we jealous of the
possessions, or importance? Is Satan tempting us with our own
significance, appealing to our pride?
Do we really
believe God is able to give us the needs we desire? When we
sin, we go outside of God’s will for our life, fulfilling our
needs and rejecting God’s provision. This is the real source of
our sin. Israel in all their sins, did not believe God was able
to deliver them, once they lacked faith in God’s ability the
For us to begin
this battle we need to identify our sins, what is hold us back
from being the spiritual warrior God wants.
Roots of Sin
How I respond in the flesh
What temptations do I have in my flesh that God
would not be pleased with?
What things (possessions) do I covet?
What am I tempted to be proud about, ?
need to realize we are under constant assault, there many
more opportunities for us to be tempted, then ever before.
Television, DVD’s and video, radio, magazines, the internet,
Cable and Satellite are some of the many choices of
entertainment, which feeds our need of entertainment.
Today its very easy to be lulled into sense of spiritual
complacency, not aware of the spiritual assault taking
battle, there is defensive and offensive strategies, the
same goes in the spiritual battle. In days past, before
radar and air surveillance, cities had designed systems of
defense. One system was the wall, the other the
watchtower. The watchtower allowed someone to see a great
distance off; if an enemy was approaching, warning could be
sent to people in the city, or other watchtowers so
eventually a nation could be alerted to potential danger.
The walls allowed the city to let those in who were friendly
by limiting access through specific openings (gates).
ancient city has a defensive strategy, we also should think
in terms of spiritual defense. We are under spiritual
assault, how do we defend ourselves? Once we identify areas
where we are weak, we need to strengthen those parts in our
wall. If we find ourselves watching raunchy programs, we
need to ask, whom we are letting into our city. An invasion
is taking place. The same goes with radio, the internet,
and magazines. What images and thoughts are entering our
mind that Satan could use to tempt us into sin?
of the watchtower was to look for potential problems before
they became real problems. We also need our own personal
watchtower; we need to be on the lookout for potential
problems, so we can react pro-active (before) rather then
reactive (after) it occurs. We do not want to give Satan a
foothold to launch his assault.
an example for every believer, when Satan on the Mount of
Temptation confronted Him. Jesus who could have choose any
weapon replied to Satan temptations with scripture. Satan
tempted Jesus, and he replied with scripture.
scriptures Jesus used answered the temptations brought
forward by Satan. Whatever our issue is we can look to
scripture to defend against Satan’s assault on us. If we
have issues with sexual temptation, we can learn what
scripture says about it. We can also memorize verses to
help us dealing with our issues. If we have issues rooted
in pride, we can do the same. Once we define our issues, we
can then target that issue with the world of God.
your temptations and the scriptural references to help you
overcome those issues
Scripture to memorize
We can also
take the issue directly to the Lord, we can pray for
deliverance from sins and temptations, which beset us.
Jesus also modeled this for us, off all people who did not
need to pray it would of been Jesus, so if Jesus needed to
pray how much more should we.
facing the betrayal of Judas and the humiliation of the
cross, prayed in the Garden, sweating great drops of blood.
write out a prayer dealing with your very issue, take it to
is made up of believers, both old and young. Many in the
church have experienced similar issues facing each one of us
today. God gives “gifts” to the body for that very
purpose. We can take our issues to pastors and counselors
who can guide us through our difficulties.
look for a like minded soul, someone seeking righteousness
and as them to be a prayer or accountability partner. Look
for someone who will take an interest in your spiritual
wellbeing. Meet with the person for mutual prayer and
offensive strategy means taking the battle to the enemy.
You know you have an enemy, why wait the enemy to attack
you. Our response does not have to be a reaction. We do
not have to wait until we see the bad programs, we can
remove their possibility from being shown.
question we need to ask, is how serious we are about being
all that the Lord wants us to be? Are we willing to make
the hard steps. Eliminate the potential from occurring;
take away Satan’s chance at deception.
not just study scripture to confront issues we are weak on,
scripture is called the sword of the Spirit, its an
offensive weapon. Daily Bible reading helps us understand
God’s will in our life and prepares us for the assaults
which aiming toward us.
prayers do not have to be defensive, we can ask the Lord to
give us a hedge of protection, so we can have victory over
the temptations even before they show themselves. We can
take our issues before the throne of God.
allows us to discipline our body and mind, like a warrior in
training. Through fasting we can see just how serious the
issue is, how much do we hunger for righteousness rather
then food this world offers.
memorized scripture, so why shouldn’t we do the same?
Before we are even attacked God’s word, which dwells in us
will prepare us the continual assault on our mind.