Without making this subject even more complicated than it is I will speak of it in common terms. We battle with ourselves over both large and small things daily. It could be over something as simple as to which pair of shoes to wear, what to have for a meal, or even deeper, should I steal something while no one is watching. Most of this is “small stuff” but it can go much deeper into areas such as: Should I meet a married co-worker for a drink in a secluded bar or at a motel? To do or not to do something is an internal battle that most experience over our lifetimes. Not all of it is small stuff.
When you were a toddler your guardians would always admonish you not to do things that they knew were harmful, dangerous or even deadly. Back in my days I remember those hot potbelly heaters and being fascinated by the blaze of the fire inside. The fire looked so pretty that my young mind wanted to touch it only to be stopped by the scream of a parent. Something like that was the introduction to the words STOP or DON’T in our childhood memories. Back then it came from a caring person but when you come of age your attraction to dangerous or even sinful things has to summon your internal guardians; one is the voice of evil and the other is your guardian angel of good.
Years ago there was a commercial that showed a person with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other with your head in the middle. Both forces make a compelling argument to get you to choose their way but your mind sits in the middle have to make the final decision. Well… if you study long… you usually study wrong. If you really have to think long about doing something it probably is not the right thing to do because doing good should not require a second thought. Doing wrong, especially when you know better will sometimes cause you to consider, ‘should I do this?’ ‘Can I get away with it?’ ‘Who will it hurt if I do just a little of it?’ We all have been there! Which of the forces win? Is it your better angels or do you give in to that dastardly demon?
Yes, there is an enemy that lives inside each of us that can challenge who we really are. Remember it is the mind that sits in the middle that ultimately has to make the decision. Will you choose wisely? Will you choose godly? Does it really matter to you if your choice is offensive to God? If you do not know God or what His percepts are more than likely you will follow the path of the least resistance. If you think you can get away with something and your better angels are not there pleading your case… you will follow that dastardly devil. Why! Because it is your basic human sin-nature! Until you know the truth you will always fall down. Sin is like the pull of gravity. Gravity is the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.
Some would like to think that we are born perfect little angels leaning more towards good rather than evil. That would be a giant mistake to think as so! A person is more like an empty cup. Whatever you put in the cup is what defines the cup. If you put poison in the cup with will become a deadly cup but if you put choice wine it will become a treat for some. If you put ice cream it will become a treat for many. But still if you put manure in the cup it will be defiled and grotesque. It is the same for us, we are the cup… what you put in that cup defines what it becomes. If our cup is filled with the Spirit of God we will become godly but if nothing is put in the cup it will be pulled down towards ungodliness. This takes us back to our basic training as a child as we learn how to deal with the two compelling forces around us. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 The cup is the mind and depending upon how it is trained as a child is how it performs in life.
To go a little deeper, what some do not realize about this internal battle is the nexus from which the forces come. To assume that such a force that wars internally against you in only from the mind would be to make a grave mistake. As creations of the Holy One you have a mortal enemy. It is not one that you can fight with traditional weapons.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
If you refuse to acknowledge such powers power you are more than likely already under the lure of its charm. If you don’t know that you need assistance you are already leaning towards the natural forces of this world. You may perceive this internal battle is over small stuff but I can assure it is not. It is a battle over your immortal soul, and yes there are winners and losers.
The enemy inside of us is not just of your making, nor is it from the decisions that you made while going through your many development stages of life. You have an immortal enemy that wants you to think that all of this is just small stuff so why not just eat, drink and be merry and enjoy all the pleasures that life offers. God says it differently… the word says:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Caution to you my brothers and sisters of this world, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5: 16-17
So by all means live life to the fullest but you need to know that this internal battle is real and the consequences are eternal. You are not just warring with the mind but against rulers, against the authorities, the powers of this dark side and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. If I were you I would take cover…just a thought! Selah!