I wanted to accept this blame only on myself but I have a feeling that it applies to many of you as well. One of my favorite writers of all time is the Apostle Paul who wrote several chapters of the New Testament in the Holy Bible. In the book of Romans the seventh chapter, he speaks about this dichotomy. “The things I do I do not wish to do but the things I hate, I do.” You can read the chapter and verse in Romans 7 but you probably need to read the entire chapter to place what he was saying in context.
I know that I am imperfect. I know that I have many flaws and faults. Even though I try as best I can to do what is right and decent there is another force that emanates from within my own body that compels me to do things contrary to what I know to be righteous and decent. I know what God expects of those He calls His children and I know also how much it must disappoint Him as we so willingly walk into the den of sin. So what am I to make of this knowledge that is being revealed to me as it was to apostle Paul?
The forces of evil would be very pleased to know that they won the internal battle. I concede to the fact that they are stronger than me. I willingly admit that I cannot control things or even this body that was given to me at birth. My tendency is to fall towards my sinful nature. I seek pleasures of the flesh and usually do spiteful, revengeful things against others to make me feel vindicated. I want my pleasures now at the expense of others. By all accounts, I am a sinner that falls so woefully short of the mark that my Lord and Savior expect of me.
What does this mean? Am I lost to sin and doomed to eternal destruction? Can I ever stand before God and seek His forgiveness and divine guidance? Obviously I am a filthy rag not worthy of anything from God so why even bother Him? My only solace it the fact that I read what Paul wrote about this subject and He confessed the very same thought process that I am confessing. I know from the bottom of my heart that I am a sinner and that I can’t fully control this sinful power. I would like to resist this temptation but more than likely it will win and I lose and God loses. If it were not my desire to disappoint God then why would I continue to do the things that I know are offensive to God? Here is where we can benefit from studying and digesting the Word of God.
It is so easy to give up the fight and say the power of evil won the battle. True if I was in the battle alone I would be waving a white flag indicating my surrender right now. I would have no other option but to give in to the superior power of evil because I am virtually powerless to war against its control. That is the position that apostle Paul found himself. He knew from personal interactions with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living Christ Himself that God was real, He was powerful and that He was the ultimate Ruler of the universe. But, knowing this he also realized that there were opposing powers from the dark side of the spiritual kingdom that control the world of flesh.
Paul ultimately realized that he was powerless to fight against these dark powers from the dark side of the spiritual realm alone but knowing God as he was taught by the Spirit of Christ he was willing to humble himself allowing the power of God through Christ Jesus to step up and give him the spiritual cover that he required. Therefore he did not concede to the power of darkness but humbled himself to God and allowed the power of Almighty God to take over. That is the essence of the spiritual walk each of us faces on this planet as we go through this temporary journey of our eternal soul.
Perhaps you disagree with what I just stated, which are the same sentiments the apostle Paul expressed in the seventh chapter of the Book of Romans? Perhaps you feel that we ought to be able to use our human powers of self-control, perseverance, tenacity, will-power, grit, and the like to avoid doing wrong things? If we were only dealing with human beings that might be acceptable but this battle is not against anything human, it is instead against spiritual powers from the dark side of the spiritual kingdom. Again rather than using our power of logic and reasoning why not instead rely upon something far more potent than what we bring to the table. When you are dealing with things of the Spirit why not go to the source of the Spirit to seek advice. This is why we should rely heavily upon the Word of God that teaches us about such things. Ephesians 6 tells us:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.”
This scripture was also written by my favorite writer Apostle Paul. As you can see he clearly states that we are not fighting against things of human origin but things of spiritual origin and they are much more powerful than we currently are in our human state. So in essence, if you are fighting a spiritual battle you need spiritual weapons and also spiritual protection. If you really think you can stand up toe-to-toe and fight demons then you are in for a very, very, very rude awakening. In fact, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near you once that happens. Though I must admit that I tried it once and I never have to experience such an unadvised act again, ever, ever, or ever in my life.
Paul did not just leave us hanging there informing us of the power of which many are not aware, he also shared with us how to protect ourselves during this spiritual warfare. He continued to say:
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
From there he went on to explain the various weapons and full armor that God provides for His children if you continue to read out that chapter.
All I can share with you is that I once was blind to such things but now I clearly see. The thing that opened my eyes was the same Spirit that was there for Paul back then and that is available for us right now. The only problem is that you have to be open to receiving what God has available for you. You can also learn this from a study of the Word but that requires a personal commitment. Let those who have a desire to hear, hear the Word, and the call from God Himself. For those who have ears to hear… Selah!