Sunday, October 4, 2009

Overcoming the Deceiving Enemy

“I really should, but…”
How much control do you have over your own flesh? When you have this quiet voice inside saying that you should do something, is it easy to say you’ll do it later? When you preface your remarks with “I shouldn’t say this…” are you able to not say it? Do you waste 30 minutes on a television program you really weren’t interested in, but it was easier to just sit there than to get up and start the project? When you have a spiritual need that requires prayer and fasting, are you able to quit nibbling or thinking about food? Do you say inside, just one more? In short, who rules inside of you?
James 1:26 points out that the one who claims to be religious but can’t bridle his tongue deceives his own heart. In another place, Jeremiah declares that the heart is deceitful above all things (17:9). Have we accepted the fact that our flesh is at war with our spirit and will always try to sabotage our godly desires? There clearly is a war going on, but many people do not realize the opponent and how to win.
Muscles develop through exercise. Hebrews 5:14 describes the mature Christian as one who has his senses or faculties “exercised” to discern both good and evil. The time to exercise your spiritual muscles is now. 2 Corinthians 6:1 states that now is the time of salvation. Much like a workout program, the benefit only comes with a willingness to start doing it and then being faithful in carrying it out consistently. The man of God must show diligence in mastering the flesh.
Wait, help is on the way. The Holy Spirit is our helper and clearly is involved in our cause “to will and to work” for His good pleasure. Even Jesus offered himself, according to Hebrews 9:14, through the eternal Spirit. So likewise, when you commit to God’s will in big or little things, God’s Spirit is right there to help you make the decision and to do it.
Today is a new day and God’s mercy is fresh for you. What is God telling you to do? Change the outcome and lethargic feeling that follows by simply saying “I choose to do that and my flesh will not overrule my decision. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you the desire and the power to overcome. You are an overcomer.


  1. God bless CedarWood and all it has done for me to strengthen my relationship with Jesus.
    This past week I have just been set free in so many areas of my life and I am just seeing life in a whole new perspective. Now that I have been set free I now have th power to be able to say no to the things that I thought had control over me and were impossible to overcome. And afterwards in the future when I know that there will be temptations, I will have the strength to shut the doors that demons are trying to open again.

  2. The world is so miss leading and, its hard to listen to the spirit, instead of the flesh. I agree that that is what people need to start doing. It might take awhile to get started, but sooner hopefully more than later, they will be able to strive. I know that is something i need to work on. I wish i could say it was going to go smoothly but that would be a lie. It will be a struggle but hey life is full of struggles.


  3. I agree in that there is definitely a war going on between our flesh and our spirit. I loved how you talked about exercising your spiritual muscles. I think that that is a great way to describe what we are doing every time we face a decision. I want to take it a step back though. Because before you exercise, you have to stretch right. I think that we need to stretch our spiritual muscles as well. I think that that would be learning to hear and recognize the check in your spirit so that when it is decision-making time it is easier to choose the right way.
    I think that something I have become more aware of lately is that life is full of choices. I know that that is something you hear all the time, but I have really become aware of its truth. Every little decision you come across has a right way and a wrong way. And you choose to either walk in God’s will or to walk the other way. I think it is really opening my eyes to the spiritual realm and how easy it is to compromise. But I think I’m also realizing that if I do strive to walk in the Spirit that it is easier to see that compromise, cut it off, and shut the doors that were opened because of it.
    And God has really been moving this past week. I LOVE IT! God is awesome, and He has no limits. His presence has constantly been at school and even in my life at home. It is really awesome. O and thank you to those that joined me up in the chapel today during lunch. I know that God was there with us and that He was moving. The worship was awesome, and to be able to really reconnect with God in the middle of a school day was beyond encouraging and refreshing. It really revived my spirit. GOD IS AWESOME! (and He’s not done yet)

  4. Very inspired post, Gene! I read it a couple weeks ago, at a time when I was really being challenged, and your words spoke encouragement. I've been planning to do a post on what I've learned about temptation, and it's amazing to see how God moves people in the same direction, often at the same time!

    Here are two of my favorite scriptures on this:

    "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

    "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18).