Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us — Col. 3:11b NLT
As Christ becomes more real to us, and as we learn to be obedient to the urging of His Spirit abiding in us, we realize more and more, the weaknesses we have and our inability to control them. Until we can say “I can’t but Jesus can”, we will always have these temptations of the flesh. We have to allow Jesus to control our urges and desires. The more we allow Him to do so, that much more of our sinful nature is stripped away and we put on more of His nature. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or your past is. The only thing that matters is Christ in us. Since we are God’s holy people, we must clothe ourselves with His characteristics. Love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is what Jesus looks like. What about us, what do people see when they look at us?
Gal. 5:22-26 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
— 1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT
No matter whether we are new Christians or have served God most of our lives, we still have faults and weaknesses. Not one of us has a corner on the depths of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures. We need to always have a teachable spirit and attitude. When pride leads us to the point that we think we can’t be tempted, watch out, we are about to fall. When we think “oh, I would never get to that point”, be very careful that you are so proud of your discernment. The evil one knows our weaknesses and exploits them with amazing dexterity and cleverness. The sly old fox is always lurking around us waiting for that moment of weakness when he can shoot an arrow through the chink in our Spiritual armor. One of his favorite tactics is compromise. A little of this, just this time, won’t hurt and anyway, who’s going to know? The devil is very adept at showing us beautiful things that turn out to be nothing but illusions. “It’s just a little lie, it’s just a little sin” is a big lie that he wants us to believe.
Be very careful, it is “the little foxes that spoil the vines” – Song of Solomon 2:15
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Paul is telling us to be spiritually alert, sober minded and armed for battle. The demonic forces are well-trained in deception and guerrilla tactics. They are very good at creating illusions that deceive “even the elect”.
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. — Matt. 24:24, 25 NIV
So, what does it mean to be spiritually alert? It means that we have to be prayed up, full of the Holy Spirit and well disciplined in our study of the Holy Scriptures. Jesus defended Himself against the devil by quoting scriptures to Him. If Jesus needed the scriptures to ward off satan then we surely need them even more. We need to be aware of where we are weak. The demons know our weaknesses and they attack us in those areas. Don’t walk too near the edge of the cliff. If certain things cause you to be excessive or respond wrongly. stay a long way away from those things. Your pride will tell you that you can handle the situation but your Spirit knows better. Let the Spirit man rise up and mortify the flesh.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. — Romans 8:12-14 NIV
The battlefield is the mind, if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, then we can win the battles.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Cor. 10:4, 5 NIV