Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…(1 Peter 5:8-9a)
Do you know that you’re at war? That there’s an enemy out there, prowling around and looking for ways to make you his lunch? Buckle up – it’s true. Satan and his demons are alive and well. They will get what’s coming to them, courtesy of divine judgment, but for now, the struggle is very much real.
You don’t need to look for demons behind every bush, but you’d be foolish to ignore the spiritual reality that they exist and that they will do whatever they can to pull you away from walking with Jesus. As Todd shared at the Porch, the devil wants you to believe that God isn't good, that God’s Word isn't true, that disobeying God isn't a big deal, and that life can be found anywhere apart from God. This is what Satan always does – just ask Adam and Eve.
The devil isn’t a buffoon – don’t think of some goofy-looking red guy with pointy horns and a pitchfork. He’s a powerful spiritual being! But he isn’t an irresistible force, and God has told us in His Word that if we resist the devil, he will flee. Here are seven things you need to know about doing that.
The devil is a liar and a murderer. In fact, he’s “the father of lies”. You can bet that Satan will try to use lies to get at you. Your weapon to fight those lies? The full armor of God, including the shield of faith and the sword of God’s Word. The lies are coming. You must know the truth that can set you free from them.
Everyone is tempted. Even Jesus was tempted (though He didn’t sin), so He knows what it’s like and has empathy for us. Temptation is a common part of the human experience. Don’t feel ashamed that you are tempted, no matter what it is. The key is how you respond to temptation, which is one of the major battlefields.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t sin if you’re a faithful Christian. That would be impossible! There is no one who is completely righteous. The key here is “surrender”, which means being so hardened by sin’s deceitfulness that you give yourself over to temptation instead of fighting it. No faithful soldier in this battle surrenders to the enemy. Even if you blow it, get back up! Don’t ever, ever, surrender. Keep fighting. Keep struggling! Read this blog and this one for more ammo.
If you think you’d never commit one of those “serious sins” (whatever you think that might be), or if you think that your consistent sins are small and unimportant, watch out! Be especially careful so that you don’t fall. The only time you’ll be immune to sin is when you’re in heaven. Until then, shields up. No one ever thinks that it could happen to them, until it does.
Just like you aren’t immune to temptation, you can’t avoid the consequences of the sin that you give yourself to. You aren’t the special case that can pursue sin and not experience its effects. Thankfully, Jesus paid for our sin, so those who have trusted in Him won’t experience the eternal consequence of separation from God, but your sin will still affect you in this life. You will reap what you sow. If you sow porn and lust, you will reap an addiction and a twisted view of sexuality. If you sow a love of money, you’ll reap discontentment and materialism. The list goes on.
There are no quick fixes to fight sin and temptation. You have to be alert, battling daily against your fleshly desires and the attacks that Satan throws at you. There is no message, podcast, song, trip, or experience that will magically deliver you from sin’s influence. You must fight it every. Single. Day. The name of this game is 24/7 faithfulness, getting from Jesus the strength you need for each day.
If you’d like to dig more into your recovery from any sin struggles, hurts, habits, or hang-ups that you have, we’d love to have you join us at re:generation!
The Bible is clear – if you isolate yourself, it won’t go well for you. Struggling against sin all by yourself is a quick path to blowing it. You need people to encourage you, challenge you, and help restore you and bear your burdens. Two are better than one!
At Watermark, we do this through community groups. You can also check out Open Community Group most Tuesdays right after the Porch for a chance to learn more about community and experience a taste of it.
While you are alive, God offers forgiveness to your repentance! But He doesn't always offer tomorrow to your procrastination. There are usually second chances, but there will always be alast chance, after which comes judgment. If you’re still breathing, it hasn’t come yet for you. If you haven’t trusted in Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sins and to give you eternal life, respond to Him before your last chance comes!