So I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me. I gladly agree with the Law on the inside, but I see a different law at work in my body. It wages a war against the law of my mind and takes me prisoner with the law of sin that is in my body. I’m a miserable human being. Who will deliver me from this dead corpse? Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then I’m a slave to God’s Law in my mind, but I’m a slave to sin’s law in my body. Romans 7:21-25 (CEB)
In these verses, the Apostle, Paul is describing the inner conflict all Christians face. As soon as you accepted Christ as your savior, you received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which moved in and took up residence with your spirit. As a result, the desire to live our lives according to the will of God is constantly at war with the sinful, worldly nature that lives inside of us as well. Often times we make a conscious choice to dismiss the spirit in favor of the sinful, like when you allow our feelings to control our tongue, or watch a program we wouldn’t let our children look at.
Those are obvious choices, but sometimes the spiritual danger zone is hidden. In Matthew 26:41 Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
I always thought He meant; In addition to praying, we’re to be watchful of everything going on around so that we can avoid the devil’s traps. I came to realize that in these words, Christ is issuing another warning as well. We must watch everything going on in us too. We have to pay attention to the internal conflict because that’s where the battle for your soul is being waged.
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One time I visited a family member who can be counted on to have some type of music playing in her home – at all times. You never know what the flavor of the day is because her tastes run the gamut. She likes it all, Jazz, R and B, Rap, Country, Classical, etc
We rarely have a chance to get together, so there’s a lot of catching up to be done when we do. Mostly, we do a lot of talking… about anything and everything while her music is playing softly in the background.
That day, she was in ‘Old School Rap’ mode. My thinking was, “Hey this is her house and she can listen to whatever she wants to. It has nothing to do with me. He that is in me is stronger than He that is in the world.”
Well guess what happened? After a while, I was bopping my head, and tapping my foot, totally tuned in to the lyrics and beats of the music I used to enjoy.
As soon as I walked in, it was “choice time.” If I would have asked for different music, I would have gotten it. I was a guest and I would have been accommodated. I did not, because I thought I could handle it. I walked straight into a trap with my eyes wide open and the enemy won that battle.
It won’t happen again.
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (AMP)