There are lots of wars going on right now.
I made a mention of it in my post yesterday that there are over 50 armed conflicts ongoing right now in the world. Add that to any kind of “culture war” or athletic rivalry that some call “wars,” and the terminology of war is all around us.
However, by focusing so much on these wars, we may be missing out on the most important war we’ll ever fight – the war on sin in our own lives.
It’s very easy for me to get caught up in fighting the battles that are visible. And I think it’s that way with many believers. But by focusing so much on getting culture to agree with us or keep Christ in Christmas, we might be missing out on fighting against a much deadlier enemy, our sin nature.
Sin sucks. Sin is horrendous. Sin is deadly. Sin is the reason people miss out on eternity with God. Sin is the reason people wander far from God. Sin is the reason people reject Jesus. Sin is the reason Christians’ relationships with God and each other are strained sometimes. Sin is the reason we are not who we are called to be every single day.
That is the war we must fight, each and every day. And we must be on guard. Paul speaks clear truth in Ephesians 6:12 –
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Our war, our primary war, if not the only war worth fighting, is against the sinful desires of our own heart and the work of Satan to bring us down.
Now, this is not an indictment on any individual “culture war.” Some of those may be worth fighting. I’m not going to pass a judgement on those wars here, although I may have in the past.
I’m simply saying that, at each and every moment, we’re engaged in a battle with Satan. We’re engaged in a war with the enemy of our soul, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
We must do everything within our power to strap up our armor and fight sin in our lives with every breath we have, every available method.
If it’s lust, pray to God for a redeemed heart. Then watch where you look, confess slip-ups to God and to others, and keep going.
If it’s pride, pray to God for a redeemed heart. Then remember the blessings you’ve been unfairly given as a child of God, confess slip-ups to God and to others, and keep going.
If it’s fear of man, pray to God for a redeemed heart. Then remember God’s approval is all you really need, confess slip-ups to God and to others, and keep going.
If it’s anger, pray to God for a redeemed heart. Then seek after peaceful solutions in difficult circumstances, confess slip-ups to God and to others, and keep going.
If it’s getting impatient with a waiter at the restaurant, pray to God for a redeemed heart. Then put yourself and their shoes and ask what you would want others to do for you, confess slip-ups to God and to others, and keep going.
It’s not always that simple, and there are a lot more steps that go into each of those scenarios. But that’s the basic pattern. Pray to God for healing, make conscious practical decisions and steps to fight the sin, confess when you fall short and don’t give up.
This isn’t a war where waving the white flag is an option.