Life was never meant to be easy—there will be hills and valleys, so to speak. Remaining persistent in your faith during the calm and the storm is the key to unlocking a Christ-centered life. But this is easier said than done. When reality strikes, our relationship with God is sometimes thrown on the back burner. Reality will challenge your relationship with God, hands down. In order to remain committed to God in the midst of reality, we must (1) remain persistent in our faith and (2) be aware of the enemies that are attempting to deter us from God.
There are three enemies that will throw your relationship with Christ off track: satan, the flesh, and our culture. No matter how much you do to avoid our enemies, they will still be there. It is your preparation before these attacks and your response to the attacks that matters. Remaining committed to Christ in your daily life will help you be successful in conquering them. Let’s talk about these enemies, shall we.
(1) Satan. Ugh, what an awful name. Satan is a seasoned veteran of combat. He knows exactly what buttons to push to throw you off track with God.
He doesn’t want you to grow in Christ; he just wants you to grow old. Satan knows the areas in your life you struggle with the most and uses those things to scheme against you. To stand firm against the devil, we must put on God’s armor: the belt of truth, body armor of God’s righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit (the word of God), Ephesians 6:14-17. Wear this armor AT ALL TIMES because we never know when the enemy will strike.
(2) Flesh. You didn’t think I’d call you an enemy of yourself, did you? Yup, we are all humans with a sinful nature. Because of this we must consciously choose to center our life on God, especially when we face perplexing situations. It is so easy to return back to our sinful nature when we are tempted. However, Romans 8:9 says we aren’t controlled by our sinful nature if we have the Spirit living in us. Keyword: if. If you have sincerely trusted your life to Christ and acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior, then the Spirit is living within you. So when you face temptations, take a step back and think “WWJD?” Acknowledge the Spirit living within you and allow Him to give you direction during these situations.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Romans 8:9
(3) Culture. Our culture does a great job of turning us away from God, don’t you think? The legalization of same sex marriage in certain states, promoting “safe sex” outside of marriage by passing out condoms like candy, banning The Pledge of Allegiance in schools (because it says “one nation under God”), using the “sex sells” idea for advertising, airing TV shows with adultery, murder, and other sin…and the list goes on. The culture has desensitized us to all of these sins, making them seem “normal.” The more normalized it becomes the more people crave it. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever, 1 John 2:17. Our culture is moving drastically away from God, which is why the world is a huge threat to our relationship with Him. Instead of turning to worldly behaviors or patterns for guidance, you should be faithfully reading your Bible to allow God to transform you. Receive your influences from the Bible, not your favorite soap opera.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Okay, I’ve given you enough information, but what are you going to do with it? Please please please apply this to your life to help protect yourselves from our inevitable enemies. Remember this:
Information – Application = Information
Information + Application = Transformation
Apply this information to your lives and become transformed into who God wants you to be. Pray daily. Read your Bible. Put on the armor of God. Prepare for battle.