A couple of months ago we talked about how to put on the New Man – That the New Man is Jesus – and in order to wear Him correctly, you must wear Him from the inside out.
That’s Good News — that you can wear Jesus on the inside. And that gives you world-overcoming power (John 16:33) The unfortunate truth is that you have to still deal with external pressure.
You know what I mean — the cares of life: health, relationships, and money. These are some of the areas where many of us have problems. We’re told that the enemy — the devil — influences these areas. After all, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, right?
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
There are 3 opponents that you will have to deal with in this life: The enemy, Frien-emies, and the Inner-Me.
The enemy is really easy to spot. He — and his agents — are here to steal from you, kill you, and destroy you. The Bible also tells us this about the devil:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Notice it says “like a roaring lion.” In other words, satan is an imposter. He was a counterfeit from the beginning but his works were destroyed at the cross! Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and we get to enjoy the benefit of His victory.
In fact, we no longer have to “wage warfare against the devil!” James give the prescription for dealing with the devil:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
When we live our lives in submission to God, all we have to do is resist the devil — in other words, all you have to do is command him to flee with the Word of God. When you speak the Word of God in faith, the devil has no idea whether it is you speaking it or whether it is God, Himself!
We must also remember that the world is at enmity with God and, therefore it is at enmity with us. And those who don’t know Jesus have a worldly nature that makes them at enmity with God and us.
Let me stop for a minute here and say something — just because the world and its adherents are at enmity with God, God is not at enmity with them! Remember, God so loved the world (John 3:16), so we cannot be at enmity with the world or it’s citizens. Our responsibility is clear — we are to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
The second opponent we have to deal with are Frein-emies. These folks can be difficult to identify because — outwardly, at least — they appear as friends. We have to be careful, though, because even the devil can appear to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:1). Even Jesus had Judas.
Like moths to a light, frien-emies are attracted to your gift. And they have one of two agendas:
The first is to get close enough to you to obtain whatever they can for their own benefit. These are like the groupies that follow entertainers. They are enamored of the gift but have no love for the giver. That’s why many athletes and entertainers wind up desolate — everyone abandons them when they can no longer provide a benefit.
The second are those who hope to get close enough to you to either destroy you or watch you fall. These individuals are either envious of you or see you as a threat. They will ally themselves with you but frequently damn you with faint praise (that was great, but…). These are the folks that are either aligned with or sent by the enemy to undermine your gift.
Our last opponent is the Inner-me. We have to be careful not to ascribe too much to the devil, because we can be our own worst enemy.
As the cartoon character, Pogo, once said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”
Wait a minute, preacher, weren’t you just telling me that it’s the Innner-me that’s gonna help me overcome?
Yes I did!
But your victory is determined by what your Inner-me is aligned with!
We know that fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7) and fear gives the enemy access to our lives (Job 3:25). And while God has forgotten all our sins (Hebrews 10:17) — which means He’s not sitting up in Heaven waiting to judge us and strike us down — sin judges itself. Just like jumping off a building will lead to a fatal sudden stop, there are consequences to sin…
Sexual sins – pregnancy, STDs, soul-ties
Sins against others – distrust, tarnished reputation, incarceration
Many of our problems are self-inflicted wounds. That’s why we must be faithful to constantly renew our minds (Romans 12:2)
So your inner-me cannot be driven by fear, or flesh — because these grant an opening to temptation, make you sin-conscious, and cause you to fall from Grace (Galatians 5:4).
Here’s the last bit of Good news: that we have authority over the ability of the enemy!
The seventy- two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. (Luke 10:17-19)
This reminds us that while the devil may still have some power, we have authority over it. Just like a 5 foot tall, 100 pound police officer has authority over the physical ability of a 6 foot tall, 200 pound criminal. As citizens and ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, it is our responsibility to exercise our authority!
God has given us the promise of His Holy Spirit. And you don’t have to “tarry” or “wait for it,” because He dwells in you fully from the moment you’re born-again!
The unfortunate thing is that many people are unaware of this indwelling. It’s like having power connected to your building but you never appropriate it by flipping-the-switch. Because we abide in Jesus and His Word abides in us, we have access to the very throne-room of heaven!
When we align our Inner-me with Jesus, we can subject the facts of our life to the truth of His Word. Then we can walk in the realization that we are, indeed, more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us.
When we align our hearts and minds with our born-again spirits, neither the world, our flesh, nor the devil are any match for us!
When we fully appropriate God’s Grace by faith, our Inner-me is greater than any enemy we may ever face.
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)