Our round kitchen table supports my eating, working, and reading. A three-legged pedestal supports the 60-inch tabletop. Imagine what would happen if it lost a leg. Trying to hold up one side of the table while trying to eat or type wouldn’t work. I’d soon give up and leave the table.
Jesus offers believers a full and satisfying life (John 10:10). But many Christians don’t experience that. Could it be we’re struggling to hold up our faith instead of using the spiritual legs God provides?
The New Testament talks about a Christian’s three-fold enemy—the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3; James 3:15). God provides strategies to handle each area. Like the pedestal supporting my table, the three areas intersect and impact each other. However, it’s beneficial to make sure we aren’t ignoring any spiritual leg of support.
The world here doesn’t refer to God’s creation. It speaks of the fallen world system under Satan’s control. This system hates Jesus and His followers and pressures us to conform to its standards. Unbiblical worldviews infiltrate every area of society, including churches. What support does Scripture provide?
- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NASB 1995).The pressure to conform is so pervasive that we may not recognize our non-biblical worldviews. As I spent time in the Bible, I realized Jesus didn’t practice my Southern manners. I’d unknowingly been caught in the world’s subtle attempt to silence truth. Straddling the world and the Word causes double-minded instability.
- “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, ….For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:15-17 NLT). In contrast to the satisfying life Jesus offers, the world stirs up cravings for things that don’t gratify.
The flesh refers to the remnant of who we were before meeting Jesus, not our skin. Some translations call this the old nature or old self. While we’ve been crucified with Christ, the principal of indwelling sin lives on. Like a splinter in your foot, it irritates our spiritual walk.
We can’t tame the flesh, but the Holy Spirit empowers us to lay aside fleshly cravings and put on our new self (Ephesians 4:22-24).
- “But I say,walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. …But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:16-17, 22-23 NASB 1995).
- “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22 NASB 1995).
- “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14 NASB 1995).
We can’t flee the world, but we can flee situations that tempt our flesh and ban temptations from our homes.
As we walk in the Spirit, He guides, protects, warns, counsels, and empowers us to live holy lives. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, but we must be continually filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) by submitting to His leadership.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NIV).
While we are to flee temptations, when we submit to God and resist the devil he flees from us. Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil and his schemes.
From this brief overview, how is your foundation? Do one or more spiritual legs need strengthening? God provides all we need to live a good and godly life. Let’s use the spiritual legs He’s provided.How is your foundation? Do one or more spiritual legs need strengthening? God provides all we need to live a good and godly life. Let’s use the support He’s provided. #SpiritualWarfare Click To Tweet
If you live the Raleigh, NC area, I hope you’ll join me at Knowing God’s One Woman Conference where I’ll be speaking on “How to Recognize and Resist the Devil’s DARTS.”