TRADITION: To win over the enemies of your soul "You must (grit your teeth) and exercise additional will power and intestinal fortitude"
TRUTH: To win over the enemies of your soul you must allow God's power to be exercised by faith
For many who are struggling with the 3 enemies of the soul, the world, the flesh and the devil, it is a real battle that might seem to have no victory in sight, except we leave this world and go to be with the Lord. Unfortunately, many Christians have surrendered to the enemy and live hollow, empty lives not knowing the victory the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased for us through faith. However, if we, first of all, recognize the enemy for what or who it is, and secondly, utilize Biblical principles in the battle for our souls, we can have victory right now! In the next 3 newsletters we will study these 3 enemies and lay out a guaranteed victory plan for each one.
The first of these enemies, and the least vicious of the three I might add, is the world. The Scripture tells us: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, if any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. 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 John 2:15,16) If the focus of our heart's desire is on these ungodly things, if we are consumed with worldly practices through the lust of the flesh, or worldly possessions through the lust of the eyes, and worldly position through the pride of life, we have surely fallen headlong into the hands of the first enemy of our soul! But, the Scripture also tells us that "the victory that overcometh the world" is our faith (I John 5:4). The same faith that saved us initially will also give us victory over the world and it's worthless and sinful allurements.
This truth is underlined by the Apostle Paul in the "Book for the Battle", the book of Ephesians. In chapter 6:10,11 he summarizes and outlines the entire book. He tells us we must first of all "Be strong in the Lord", literally, "be continually strengthened in the Lord" (by faith) which corresponds to our first enemy and summarizes the first 3 chapters of Ephesians. In these 3 chapters Paul records over 20 unchanging spiritual blessings that become the possessions of each individual Christian at the time they are born-again the Bible way! These possessions far outweigh any worldly possessions we might have now or even dream of ever having. And, therefore, if we are "continually strengthened in the Lord" exercising our faith and thereby realizing what is ours in Christ, the world will have no allurement, no attraction and no appeal to us who are in Christ Jesus!
The challenge to each of us is to become intimately familiar with the great and abundant blessings of being a child of God (Ephesians 1-3). If we do, our faith will be strengthened, we will be focusing on things above, we will be living in victory over the world and the Scripture again will be proven to be true for "Faith truly is the Victory"! But, we must remember that faith finds it's source in the Word of God.(Romans 10:17) And, the faith for victory over the world will find it's favorite source in these first 3 chapters of Ephesians! As we memorize and meditate on who we are in Christ, what He has done for us and what He promises to do in the future, we will rejoice in the victory that Christ alone can provide!