Unfortunately there are probably very few people who can honestly say they have absolutely no health issues, are completely debt free, and have never given in to temptation? If that’s not you, then why would you want to continue with your present lifestyle instead of living to please God? It begs the question, how’s your life working out for you? In order to achieve victory over Satan and the sinful nature, you have to become an effective spiritual warrior.
So, what is spiritual warfare?
Bottom line, it’s a lifestyle. Since the enemy (Satan) is constantly prowling, looking for someone to attack we must be on guard always. The attacks can be in our minds and our hearts.
One of the greatest battles of a spiritual warrior is our sinful nature. The Apostle Paul said in 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Our destructive attitudes and false mind sets are what hinder our relationship with God. They decrease our ability to fight and they give the enemy a foothold in our lives.
Sinful nature can include anger, jealousy, selfishness, sexual immorality, and it is always trying to please itself! On the outside a person may look like they’re living for God, but on the inside they may be indulging in sinful nature. Sinful nature operates by the power of our own desires and Satan’s schemes, both of which are opposed to God. Unfortunately, those who have not received forgiveness by Christ, have no control. And Satan will exploit this because he knows we are fallen beings and he continues to tempt and promote sin in mankind.
But sinful nature tries to fight against the spirit of those who have received salvation, because it wants to satisfy its desires.
So how does it do it? Through our senses (taste, sight, touch, etc.) sinful nature tries to stimulate us to desire forbidden things (drugs, pornography, stealing, lying, etc). Our mind then has to evaluate whether these desires are good or evil, productive or not. Remember, the enemy tries to attack our thoughts when we least expect it. You can’t allow past addictions to delay future blessings.
It is then that our Will must decide whether to obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit or yield to temptation. We are in essence a walking civil war because of the conflict between God’s spirit and the sinful nature. You have to be totally convinced that both are absolutely opposed to each other.
It is only through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit that we can live the way God wants. To be spiritually minded we must not live under the influence of sinful nature by yielding to it. The following are ways to fight against the sinful nature:
- Recognize sneak attacks and the things of the world that pull you away. (television, news, the internet)
- Be wary of sinful attitudes that grow from your thoughts. (I don’t feel like praying today, I don’t have time to read the word)
- Battle against the sinful nature by asking God’s Spirit to fill you every day. Fellowship with other believers. Learn how other believers overcame the same struggles you are going through.
- Pray and talk to God consistently throughout the day. When you pray forgive others who may have offended or hurt you. Forgiveness provides clear access to God’s grace and power. Be thankful in your prayers and praise Him.
- Be perseverant in your prayers because the mark of a spiritual warrior is the tougher the battle gets the more he keeps fighting.
- Pray in the spirit. Paul said that when a person prays using a heavenly language he does not speak to men but to God. There is so much happening in the spiritual realm that we are not aware of it. Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
- Fasting is also a great weapon of spiritual warfare. It gives us an entry into the resources of God’s power.
- Lastly, use the authority of the name of Jesus and the powerful work He did at Calvary through His atoning blood. Pleading the blood of Jesus is a legal term and you should use it to combat all attempts by the enemy. Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
So, how should you plead the blood of Jesus and why? You should plead the blood when the devil tries to torment you with memories of past sins. Plead the blood when your sinful nature tempts you to do wrong. Plead the blood for protection when your children go to bed at night. Plead the blood to ward off demons so you or others can be healed. Plead the blood over your finances. Plead the blood over your marriage and other relationships by telling Satan he has no authority.
And plead the blood to keep you spiritually pure, because Victory is ours!