By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Right now, an invisible war is happening. A spiritual battle is being waged, and we are right in the middle of it.
Paul wrote, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world” (Ephesians 6:12).
James wrote, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Peter wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind, for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
And John wrote, “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray” (1 John 2:26).
In these letters we see a common theme: that our enemy the devil is at work, and if we are not vigilant, we can easily become prey to his schemes.
Satan will do everything he can to get us to stumble in our race of faith. As a matter of fact, he would love to see us forfeit the race entirely. Through deception and temptation, he works to rip apart our relationships, our witness, and ultimately, our devotion to Christ. What can we do to ensure that the enemy’s tactics do not succeed?
The Word of God gives us great news: “[Christ’s] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3). We are not helpless victims in this spiritual battle because Christ has already given us the victory.
Through the Holy Spirit, we can put to death our earthly desires and set our minds on the Lord. When the burden of temptation feels too great, we can call upon God’s Spirit for help, trusting that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us (Romans 8:37). When we find ourselves falling into old habits, we can begin to take those thoughts captive and submit them to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Instead of simply fleeing temptation, we can also actively pursue righteousness.
Is there anything keeping you from running your race? Keep asking God for strength. Keep putting on your spiritual armor. The next time you falter in the race, do not give up or give in to despair. Remain in God’s Word, and remember that Christ has already given you the victory.
Prayer: Lord, I confess those areas of my life where I have not been putting on my spiritual armor. Today I submit my thoughts to You and pray that You would help me to continue taking every thought captive. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12).