Yesterday we learned about the battle we are all in. Not just believers who are struggling with sexual temptation but every believer is in this battle. However, nobody wants to talk about their battle because there is this blanket assumption that if you are a “good Christian” you will not be struggling with anything. Someone at church asks you how you are and you say, “I’m fine … how are you?” Or “I am good … or I am great, never been better … or You know another day in paradise.”
Want to really shock someone. Tomorrow at church when someone asks you how you are doing why not tell them the truth? What if you replied, “You know, thanks for asking. I had a really difficult week. My job sucks, I am struggling in my marriage, our kids are getting very rebellious so I medicated these problems by looking at porn for 6 hours and masturbating 4 times this past week … So, how are you?” They will walk away and never ask you that question again.
For some reason, we feel obligated to make believe that everything is fine in our lives. When it is not. Jesus told his disciples that we could expect trouble in our lives.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I am thinking that Paul was someone who had a tremendously deep and meaningful walk with God. Yet, here is how he described his life in 2 Corinthians 11:16-23;
“I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again.
- Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.
- Three times I was beaten with rods.
- Once I was stoned.
- Three times I was shipwrecked.
- Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
- I have traveled on many long journeys.
- I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.
- I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.
- I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.
- And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
- I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.
- I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.
- I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.”
The only Christians I know that are really “fine” are those who are not doing anything for Christ or are so entangled by sin that the response of “fine” is a lie. Satan does not have to battle against them because they have locked themselves back into the addiction from which Christ has delivered them. Or, there are so consumed with their own personal life and ignoring God’s plan for them that they are no threat to his dark kingdom.
If you are being attacked it is because the enemy is trying to neutralize you. He wants to neutralize you because God wants to use you to help others. So, satan will do anything to cause you to feel defeated and worthless.
This next week we are going to go into details about this war and focus on what God has given us to be victorious.