IDENTITY, pt. 9—I am at War
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Pet. 2:9
I am at war against my FLESH
Humans are born in the image of God with a nature corrupted by sin, leading to sinful actions from a self-orientation. While people assume their feelings are pure and ‘true’ to them, people are self-deceived until they come to the light of Christ (John 8:12). Humans naturally do not want God’s will in their lives so they live by their fleshly desires. Once repentance happens people are given a new spiritual nature that will still struggle with old habits (Rom. 7:19; 12:1, 2; 13:11-14). It is this battle which must be continually fought as the old self desires to ‘come alive’ again (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:17-24). Instead of conforming to the old way, believers are to choose the transforming power of God, so their character is strengthened to do God’s will. Character is built on doing good, not feeling good!
I am at war against the WORLD
As sinful people make sinful cultures and sinful nations, God allows their influence to pervade daily life. Once the believer is saved they leave the system they participated in and become an agent of godly change though they’ll be hated (Matt. 5:13-15; John 15:18, 19). God can bring good from any evil in the world (Rom. 8:28)!
I am at war against the DEVIL
The devil (Gr. diabolos, ‘liar/slanderer’) is a fallen angel who hates God and designs temptations to get believers to dishonor God and draw them away. Jesus was tempted at times of physical weakness yet he always chose God’s will for him (Luke 4:1-13; Gal. 5:16; Heb. 4:15). Satan is pictured as a lion looking to devour people’s lives by distracting them from godly endeavors to ruin this life, and their eternal lives as well (1 Pet. 5:8, 9). Satan is faster, smarter, and stronger and knows your thoughts and weakness, while never getting tired. The encouraging reality is that he has no power or access to you that is not allowed by God. Satan may be put in your life to test you, but never to defeat you (James 4:6, 7). Though believers are at war, through Christ they overcome (John 16:33)!