In the fast-paced, action-packed world we live in, how can we live in a way that not only protects us from being corrupted by the world but live in a way we have an impact on the world; an impact that brings to the world the order and the ways of God.
The answer is being filled with the Word and Spirit of God; like a gas bottle is filled with gas. I will explain this at the end. I pray it will make sense!
You may not have noticed it, but Satan knows his time is short. He is working furiously to not only destroy your mind, your body and take your focus off what is spiritual. The attack on you is relentless. The TV, movies, internet, gaming, food, drugs, medicine, advertising, relationships etc.. the list goes on. It appears impossible to live a life that not only is pure, it is uncluttered and has no chinks that allow the attacks of the enemy to penetrate. You could actually say you are living in a war that has been fought around and over you and you may not have noticed. God is calling followers of Jesus to wake up to this massive battle for our souls and know how to successfully win the battle.
What are key things that God wants you to know so you can defeat Satan and live as a child of God, not being polluted by the world and turned away from the destiny you have in Jesus?
1.The battle starts in our mind.
As we know the battle starts in our mind, we can realise that the victory comes as we spend time renewing our mind. This is a work of the Holy Spirit and occurs as we read the Bible, pray and meditate on what God is saying to us. This is spoken about in Romans 8, where Paul tells us to stop mindlessly imitating our culture, but allow God to transform you through the Holy Spirit so you can discern the perfect will of God. This leads to a life that is blessed and has real peace.
2 Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. Romans 12:2 TPT
2. The battle is for our flesh
Satan knows that we have an incredible weakness as the desires of our flesh is very strong. The flesh is so, so, so strong. Most of of the attacks of Satan come through appealing to our fleshly desires. It appears that the battle for our flesh is impossible to win, and in the end, we will be defeated if something radical is not done. God is calling us to die to our flesh which sounds strange. Possibly the toughest challenge you are going through is an addiction, a dysfunctional relationship, a strong desire? God may be using this to take you to a place where you die to this and put your flesh to death. Let go of this thing that is giving you so much pain, learn to die to your flesh and allow God to fill you with His Spirit. He has promised that this decision will actually bring abundant life!
13 For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life. Romans 8:13 TPT
3. Freedom comes through submission ...... sounds confusing but it works!
It is so easy to fall into the trap of the world where we work hard to achieve the desires of our flesh. The world tells us that this brings freedom and happiness. When we understand the world through the eyes of our creator, the opposite is actually true. Saying no to our flesh or actually dying to the desires that our flesh craves for and choosing to be led by the Spirit of God actually brings freedom...
And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit! Romans 8:4b TPT
Having the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit leading us makes life an incredible adventure, not a constant battle for our fleshly desires.
4. When we are focused on fleshly desires, we cannot truly walk with God
Ouch! This is one of the most difficult things about our battle on earth with our flesh. There is a link in Romans 8 to desires of our flesh and our walk with God. If the flesh desires are controlling us, it is impossible to truly submit to His will and direction for our lives. Even though God still loves us, He finds no pleasure in our actions!
7 In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot! 8 For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. Romans 8:7 - 8TPT
To be of God, we MUST be joined totally to Him! Our flesh must be put to death so we can be fully joined in our relationship with God.
9 But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life,[g] you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him. Romans 8:9 TPT
5. Apathy in our faith comes as we live on our earthy desires
One of the scariest passages in the Bible refers to the state of our heart. God wants us to be hot for Him or The Passions Translation it says "fervent with passion".
15 I know all that you do, and I know that you are neither frozen in apathy nor fervent with passion. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16 But because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you from my mouth. Revelations 3:15-16 TPT.
When we are distracted by things of the flesh we take our eyes of our spiritual state and the importance of our relationship with God and become distracted by the things of our flesh. It is so easy to then be enticed into a religious faith walk, where we go through the motions of being a "Christian" but there is not the integrity of our faith. We are unable to live what we read or learn from studying the Scriptures, or what we learn through blogs, sermons or conversations with others. The lukewarm coffee scene from the movie War Room is an excellent visual reminder of what being lukewarm actually means.
6. Dying to your flesh desires brings a releasing of God's glory in your life
God is ready to unleash an amazing outpouring of glory in your life as you let go of all your flesh desires and are fully joined to Him through His Spirit. Suffering MUST happen to not only show you the power Satan is trying to exert over your flesh but as you, through the Spirit, refuse to give in, God will unleash something wonderful in your life. Creation is waiting for the moment you die to your flesh and you are fully released on earth as a son or daughter of God that is filled with His glory! Through this process, we are promoted to the full status of God's sons and daughters. No more religious pretending
18 I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. 19 The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! Romans 8:18-19 TPT
When we start on the journey of stepping up to become sons and daughters of God, we actually realise how important this is in our lives and become excited and passionate about growing up and maturing in our walk with God. The pull of the flesh becomes less powerful and the benefits of our relationship with God greatly outweigh the flesh desires that were once so powerful.
23 And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the firstfruits of the Spirit also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed. 24 For this is the hope of our salvation. Romans 8:23-24 TPT
How is this linked to a leaking gas bottle?
To be successful living in a world where Satan is doing all he can to distract us, cause us to pursue our flesh and to miss what God has for our lives we have to intentionally plan our lives to live differently. We are called to live intentionally and in a way that causes us to withstand all the attacks of the evil one. God is calling us to be filled with His Word and His Spirit so much that we are Christians who are incredible pressure. This is healthy internal, spiritual pressure. The pressure causes what is inside to leak out into the world and God's power and glory to be released in every conversation, action and every relationship.
God is calling us as God's sons and daughters to ensure that every day we are so full of the Spirit of God and His Word we are no longer susceptible to the wiles of the evil one. If we are empty, the only thing that will happen is that everything in the world that entices our flesh will fill and destroy us. Instead, be like the full gas bottle and ensure you are able to not only walk and be strong but to fill the earth with God's glory through your words, actions and in every relationship.
So how do you stop yourself from being contaminated by the world? Spend time with God each day reading His Word, praying and working on your relationship with HIm. Ensure you are a Christian under pressure so you are able to leak everywhere what God has put in your life. Before you start the day, spray yourself with soapy water and if bubbles do not form ....... go and spend more time with God! (See the above video on how to check for gas leaks!)
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea. Habakuk 2:14 NKJV