Spiritual Warfare, it is a reality of life whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Often spiritual warfare is misconstrued. We are tempted to either give the devil too much credit or not to acknowledge that real spiritual warfare exists at all. Giving the devil too much credit usually occurs in one of two ways, we either attribute every struggle in our lives to Satan’s interaction or we neglect to remember that as believers we are not fighting for victory, but from a place of victory. Colossians 2:14-15 makes this truth very clear, “This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. We do not pray for victory over Satan, we are called to live into the victory that Christ has already won.We do not pray for victory over Satan, we are called to live into the victory that Christ has already won. Click To Tweet
More times than not, however, our greatest struggle for purity and sanctification is not with Satan, but with ourselves. Until such time as we have found mastery over our flesh, there is little need for Satan to oppose us as believers in Christ. Paul offers great help in Romans 13. He calls on believers to walk “properly, as in the daytime” and to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” We must regularly take up the Armor of God as Paul explains further in Ephesians 6. Putting on Christ and taking up the Armor should be viewed synonymously in God’s Word. Engaging in Spiritual Warfare requires believers to take up Christ, to clothe themselves in righteousness and holiness. But, that’s not all.
Paul also urges us to “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Most of our failures are to be found as a result of our unwillingness to starve our earthly desires. “Make no provision.” These words of Paul are ringing loudly in my ears today as I ponder the times when I dwell on the desires of my flesh. Perhaps you are not in sin, but you are lingering on the precipice of sin. Rather than starving your flesh and giving your sinful desires “no quarter,” you have carved out space in your life for your sinful desires to live. Do you take the second look and linger for just a minute as that woman passes by? Do you linger over what you could have done with the tithe that you offered last Sunday? Do you take an extra minute to consider the rude way that you were cut off in traffic?
Regardless of what your temptation may be, the command of Paul is that we should make no provision. We should not provide any fuel for the fire of our fleshly desires. In fact, just the opposite should be true. As we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be starving and smothering our sinful flesh. The righteousness of Christ and the pleasures of his word work to extinguish the flames of our sinful desires when rightly applied. Satan is a real force to be reckoned with, but he’s probably not you primary foe today. More likely than not your greatest struggle today is with the person you saw in the mirror brushing your teeth. Ponder today how it is that you may apply God’s words. What changes can you make in your life right now to deny provision to your flesh and to fan into flame the gift of God that is in you?