“I’ll deal with that later” is a dangerous attitude to take when it comes to temptation. The more you put it off, the more your appetite for the eternal things atrophies and the more your capacity diminishes until you lose the cutting edge of intentionality.
To be a holy warrior, you must acknowledge the spiritual warfare that rages and take action. After all, you don’t have a choice: whether you like it or not, you will have a struggle against the flesh.
A Supernatural Realm
A modern temptation is to ignore the reality of spiritual warfare, treating all issues only on a physical or psychological level. To do so, however, is to lose sight of what Scripture teaches about spiritual warfare. Jesus, after all, came both healing the body and casting out demons. This warfare still exists.
These external forces can amplify the temptations of the flesh. If we do not acknowledge their existence, then we are vulnerable to attack. Now, we need to be clear that not every issue is demonic in nature. However, these supernatural forces certainly have a part to play in the spiritual warfare of the flesh.
A Holy Warrior
Fighting against the flesh as a holy warrior requires a mind imbued with the strength of Scripture. Romans 12:2 tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” This higher truth of the Word expels the false, lower desires of the flesh. As a result, we ought to replace our evil thoughts with pure ones (see Philippians 4:8)
Having a sloppy thought life means that our guard is down all the time. Without the intention to resist temptation, we will give in without a struggle. As a result, we need to make a choice ahead of time to store up Scripture, recognizing that certain actions and thoughts are beneath the dignity of the person we are called to be. If we want to be a true disciple, one who is like Jesus, we must recognize that sin is an unworthy pursuit. It is beneath us, for God has called us to be pure in Him.
Want to go deeper? Ken bases this study on the revised edition of Conformed to His Image, a comprehensive book on what it means to grow in Christlikeness.
Don’t miss out on Ken’s other Friday Morning Study series.