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A War Within



A war wages that is not fought according to the flesh with carnal weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) but it is a war within each one of us where the passions of the flesh wage war against our soul (1 Peter 2:11).  It is a war where the desires of the flesh are set against the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-18).  This is a war that battles for our heart and it is there we feel the conflict.  Depending on what we allow our heart to give preference to, or treasure, determines what we will produce in our lives (Luke 6:43-45, Mark 7:21-23) and will ultimately determine the outcome of our spiritual war.  For this reason it is important that you, just as Proverbs 4:23 communicates, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” 

To successfully keep, or guard, our heart we must transform our way of thinking and what we dwell on away from the influences and conformity of the world toward that which is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).  It’s in seeking, understanding, dwelling on, and following the will of God that God equips us, making us capable of protecting our heart and winning the war that is waged against our soul.

Unfortunately there are times where we have failed to protect our heart from the influences of the world and thus we have lost battles in the past, as we may also lose some in the future. What we need to understand in these situations is that it is our choice as to whether we lose the war.  A lost battle is not a lost war unless we choose to give our heart over to the flesh, allowing sin to remain.  We find from scripture that the Lord will no longer hear those who choose to continue in their sin and that there no longer remains a sacrifice for them.  These who allow the flesh to take over their heart do not have the promise of salvation, but a promise of a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation that awaits them (Psalm 66:18, Hebrews 10:26-31). 

Fortunately this is not the case for those of us who strive to live according to the Spirit, battling to maintain in our heart the desires of the Spirit over that of the flesh.  For even if we stumble from time to time, we have an Advocate (Christ Jesus) with the Father and the promise that if we will confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, 1 John 2:1).  As long as we turn back from sin with sincere repentance when we stumble and a desire to continue our fight to protect our heart from the flesh (sin), then we too have the same assurance David felt when he wrote Psalm 103:10-13 which reads, “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.” 

Be encouraged to continue your fight knowing there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1).  God offers us victory in Christ and so let us echo 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Shawn Orthober