Civil Wars

“A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Satan is divided and fights against himself,  how can he stand? He would never survive.” Mark 3:24-26 (NLT)

As Christians, we are constantly in war. You vs. the enemy, flesh vs. spirit (you vs. you), and spirit vs. spirit (you vs. others). The good news is that we have already conquered the enemy. Jesus conquered him on the cross. Any power that he has, God has more. In Christ, we always win. But we must stay on guard to protect ourselves from the enemy’s attempts. He knows our weaknesses and he wants to take advantage of them.

“In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of His schemes.”

2 Corinthians 2:11

The Bible clearly states that the enemy cannot fight himself. If he were to fight himself, he would be creating a civil war, and thus be unable to stand. Therefore, he fights those things that are a threat to him. And since you’re God’s most prized possession, you are the also the enemy’s biggest target.

You are a threat to Satan. He doesn’t want you to know the truth; that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, that you are forgiven and that you have freedom in Jesus… He works so hard to fill our minds with lies in an attempt to keep us from having a relationship with God and from reaching our fullest potential.

With God on our side, we are capable of so much. When we know who HE is and who we are in HIM, we also know the enemy’s lies are… well, lies. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from believing in God or from saving the lives of others. Satan is not a match for God… the battle has already been won.

He may tell you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough… those are all lies to distract you. He may tell you that you’ll never be able to accomplish something or that you past is too shameful… those are lies to make you feel insecure. He may even tell you that God doesn’t love you or that He doesn’t hear your prayers. but those are lies as well. Not only does God hear the prayers of His children, He also cares for each of us deeply. No lie from the enemy, no circumstance from this temporary life, and not even our own insecurities can change that. When the lies come, combat them with God’s Word – truths that cannot be erased or undone.

Sometimes, we battle ourselves; sinful self vs. pure self, feelings vs. truths, and simply wrong vs. right. We can even be tempted to go back to our old ways. But we are made new in Christ. Our minds are renewed daily through prayer, studying the Bible, spending quality time with God, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us (see Romans 12:2).

 

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

James 4:8

Our journey of faith requires us to be intentional. Sometimes you may not want to do the right things or you may not feel like praying. Do it anyway; especially when it’s hard. It builds self-discipline and it strengthens our relationship with God. We desire what we give our time to. And as we give our time to God, our desire for Him will increase.

I relate to this on a whole other level:

Sometimes people get on our nerves, we have disagreements, we may not be having the best day, or maybe we just don’t want to be bothered. However, we don’t want to cause division by arguing, creating distance or building walls. Think about how you treat people and if you would want to be treated that way, regardless of what they did first. Imagine how God feels about how you’re treating the people in your life and the people you encounter. We have to view others as God’s princes and princesses, because we are all His children; all royalty. We have the power to influence the lives around us, but we cannot do that if we’re divided or full of anger and negativity.

Part of living for Christ is dying to ourselves. Meaning, sometimes we have to put our own feelings aside and make decisions that are not necessarily favorable. It’s never worth it to act out of character or to lose your peace over temporary situations or things that we can’t control. So when you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off, don’t allow that one situation to ruin your day. People may lie on you, mistreat you or deceive you… but our lives cannot be driven by how others treat us or what they think of us. Whenever you feel rejected, overlooked or attacked, remember that God’s love for you is consistent. Even when we don’t feel like smiling, we have the opportunity to accept God’s love for us, and give that love back to others.

 

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”

John 15:12 (NLT)

 

Others by Israel Houghton