Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.This month, I’m taking a look at war. There are so many different kinds of war. Overcoming conflict of any kind is a battle. Losing weight is a battle. When you announce your desire to lose weight, enemies show up to defeat you. You have to battle the urge to shove three servings of a decadent chocolate cake into your mouth. If you don’t use effective weapons, you’ll be overwhelmed by the enemy.
If you live among people who sin (that would be every one of us) and if you want to live in righteousness, then you have a battle on your hands. It’s a spiritual battle, so you have to go to God for your weapons. What weapons do you use in that kind of warfare?
The Word of God is a powerful weapon. It is a sword (Eph 6:17). It is living and active (Heb 4:12). And it is in you – if you read it and believe it and eat it up as if it were the only food around. You must go to God because he knows what is in you and can teach you how to use it (Psalm 32:8).
The battle against sin is not for you to fight alone. In any war, the soldiers must stay in constant communication with their commanding officer. Remember, no success is accidental. Nobody has ever won a war without a fight. And no fight has been effective without both knowledge and passion. Either one by itself is not enough.
For success in the battle against sin, you must know the enemy. The enemy is sometimes pleasant, otherwise sin would not be tempting. The enemy is sometimes intimidating and sometimes provocative and persuasive.
But you must also know your Commander-In-Chief. Jesus has given us the very same Holy Spirit who was leading him when he fought his battles on the dirt of this planet. God’s Spirit (John 14:26) reminds us of scripture we’ve read which tells us which direction to aim our weapons. We get important information by listening intently in prayer during our battles.
Just knowing what to do will not win the battle. You must put effort into the fight. Your confidence in the method of success must match your determination to see the battle through to the end.
You must have a Happy-Ever-After mentality. You must not give up when it looks like you’ve lost. I watched one of the Narnia movies and didn’t turn it off when Lucy found that Aslan had died. I kept watching and saw that the battle wasn’t over. Aslan had not lost.
In your efforts to wage war against sin, you must put up sign posts to remind yourself of your successes and your continuing goals. Remember how far you’ve come, and remember that you’re not through fighting yet.
You are a success story in this war as long as you don’t go AWOL. Stay with God and win the victory. You can do it.