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Spiritual Vigilance

January 16th, 2013

Winning the spiritual conflict around you begins by winning the battle within you.

“Be of sober spirit; be on the alert.” 1 Peter 5:8 NAS.

Life is not just a walk in the park. You and I are engaged in a cosmic struggle of good and evil. Paul described being “. . troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.” 2 Corinthians 7:5 KJV. There is a moral and spiritual conflict; if you wish to be safe and successful you must be wise and watchful. “Be of sober spirit; be on the alert.” 1 Peter 5:8 NAS. This spiritual conflict does not allow for either casual or occasional involvement. It is both serious and full-time. Winning the spiritual conflict around you begins by winning the battle within you. Paul voiced the conflict with these words, “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s Law, but I see another law at work . . waging war against the Law of my mind . .” Read Romans 7:14-25 NIV.

Paul’s counsel remains relevant and timeless, “For our struggle is . . against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV. Be clear about your enemy’s identity and intentions. You are not left unprotected or defenseless, but you must live with intentionality. Paul assured the Corinthian believers that, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God . .” 2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV.

Peter provides some practical principles of preparedness. Read 1 Peter 5:6-9 NAS. “Humble yourselves . . casting all your anxiety . . be of sober spirit, be on the alert . . resist your adversary [the devil] firm in your faith.” And the promised result? “The God of all grace who called to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 NIV.

Your success in this moral and spiritual conflict begins with your surviving attitude of a combatant.” You must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV. The enemy will exploit every fear or weakness; he neither rests nor sleeps and shows no mercy. You are in danger if not vigilant. The threat is real; the cost is eternal; there is no “off duty.”

Your success in this conflict necessitates your drawing courage from effective training. Read Psalm 18:29 NIV. David did not fear armies, giants or kings; “The Lord, my Protector . . trains me for battle and prepares me for war.” Psalm 144:1-2 TEV. “For the weapons of our warfare are . . mighty in God for pulling done strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience . .” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV.

Your success in this conflict requires your having the confidence of victory. “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Read 1 John 5:4-5 NIV. Jesus assures you, “Take heart, I have overcome the world . . now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” John 16:33 NIV/2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV. Jesus’ victory can be yours.

My prayer for you today is that you are victorious in all inner and outward conflict.

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