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 world. 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 (John 3:20), governed by the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4)( — the “prince power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). 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 gratified, so don’t feed it. It will grow bigger and bigger, until it weighs heavy upon your back, and will be the death of you — see James 1:15.
There is nothing wrong with sex, power, money, or material things, but when these become predominant in God’s sight, the Bible calls this “inordinate affection” (Colossians 3:5). 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” (Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 15:19). 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). Jesus said,
“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).