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Surrounded On Three Sides In Our Spiritual War

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lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. -- 2Corinthians 2: 11 (NKJV)


Far too often these days we see Christians struggling where they ought to be walking in power. Limited where they ought to be thriving. The reality is that more often than not they are merely ignorant where they ought to be vigilant. The Bible makes it very clear that we are in a spiritual war. This war is ongoing and there are no breaks. The agents we must face do not get vacations or sick leave. When we wake up every day there are attacks on us from three different sides. Each is unique yet works together. Each seeks our destruction but we need not fear in this spiritual war because we serve a greater God than our enemies. But the secret to winning the spiritual battles is knowing what we face and to be vigilant against it, instead of ignorant of it.


The first thing working against us is the world in which we live every single day. The Bible says that the things of God are foolishness to those in the world. They hear what we have to say and literally think we are fools for believing. We are complete opposites beloved yet there we can be, messing around where we do not belong.


You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. -- James 4: 4 (NLT)


Look at the language God is using here! When we divide our loyalties between this world and God we are actually adulterers to Him! Remember we are the bride of Christ and He does not want us defiling ourselves with the world. That being said, the challenge is in that we live within the very system we are not supposed to partake of and that becomes very taxing. The problem is in that we are supposed to view ourselves as not part of the very system we must live in:


Dear friends, I warn you as "temporary residents and foreigners" to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. -- 1Peter 2: 11-12 (NLT)


Note here that God is acknowledging for us that the worldly desires actually wage war against our very souls. The world embraces much different ways of thinking than Christ. The world pushes an independent mentality and rewards self-reliance while God encourages dependence upon God and rewards humility. The world encourages a win at all costs mentality that embraces cut-throat competitiveness while God wants us to consider others before ourselves at all times. The world preaches that he who dies with the most toys wins while God reminds us that he who dies is still dead and has to answer for all of his indiscretions before a holy God. In every single area, the world simply is opposite of God. It values the opposite. It teaches the opposite. It believes the opposite. Yet we must live in it -- but only as temporary residents! This struggle is not new! Way back in Genesis we see this when Abram and Lot first split up:


Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. -- Genesis 13: 12 (KJV)

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