When you became a Christian, you stepped right into the heat of an age-old battle. You have a three-fold enemy–the world, the flesh, and the devil. Before you became a Christian, you floated down stream with the other dead fish. But now, God has put His life within you, and you will find yourself swimming against a three-fold current. Let’s look at these three resistant enemies.
First, The Worldly System.
When the Bible speaks of the “world” in this context, it is referring to the sinful, rebellious, world system. This is the world that loves the darkness and hates the light.
Joh 3:20 KJV
(20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Satan has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They are governed by the “god of this world”.
2Co 4:3-6 KJV
(3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
(4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
(5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
(6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Satan is the “prince of the power of the air”
Eph 2:2-3 KJV
(2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
(3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The Bible says the Christian has escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. “Lust” is unlawful desire, and is the life’s blood of the world –whether it be the lust for sexual sin, for power, for money, for material things. Lust is a monster that will never be satisfied, so don’t feed it. For if you do it will grow bigger and heavier, until its weight presses relentlessly upon your back, and will be your downfall.
Jas 1:13-16 KJV
(13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
(14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
(15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
(16) Do not err, my beloved brethren.
When these become predominant in God’s sight, the Bible calls this “inordinate affection”
Col 3:5-9 KJV
(5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
(6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
(7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
(8) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
(9) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
We are told, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
“Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (1 John 2:15, James 4:4).
The Second Enemy Is The devil.
As we have seen, he is known as the “god of this world.” He was your spiritual father before you joined the family of God (John 8:44, Ephesians 2:2. Jesus called the devil a thief, who came to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).
The way to overcome him and his demons is to make sure you are outfitted with the spiritual armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-20. Become intimately familiar with it. Sleep in it. Never take it off. Bind the two-edged sword to your hand so that you never lose its grip. The reason for this brings us to the third enemy.
The Third Enemy Is What The Bible Calls The Flesh.
This is your sinful nature. The domain for the battle, is your mind.
If you have a mind to, you will be attracted to the world and all its sin. The mind is the data-processing control panel for the eyes and the ears. It is the center of your appetites. All sin begins in the heart.
Pro 4:23 KJV
(23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Mat 15:17-20 KJV
(17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
(18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
(19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
(20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defileth not a man.
We think before we sin. This happens because we don’t think before we sin. The Bible warns that lust brings forth sin, and sin when it’s conceived brings forth death. Every day we have life, we have a choice. To sin or not to sin — that is the question. The answer to the question of sin, is the fear of God. If you don’t fear God, you will sin to your sinful heart’s delight.
Did you know that God kills people? He killed a man because he didn’t like what he did sexually (Genesis 38:10).
He killed a husband and wife because they told just one lie (Acts 5:1-11).
Knowledge of God’s goodness — His righteous judgments against evil, should put the fear of God in us, and help us not to indulge in sin.
If we know that the eye of the Lord is in every place beholding the evil and the good, and that He will bring every work to judgment, we will live accordingly.
Such weighty thoughts are valuable, for “by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6).
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5).