If you have children you certainly recognize the phrase, “I said, ‘No!’”. It starts coming on about the age of seven to ten months for most children and lasts until you pass away or they do!
I have to admit that watching my little great nephew (11 months old) work his way around the house and every piece of furniture in it has been somewhat of a tiring journey recently. But, it has also provided me with much amusing entertainment at times.
How quickly we see the sin nature emerge.
We say “no” and he does it anyway. We say “no” and pop his little hand and he cries and does it again when we look away. Sometimes when he is getting his little hand popped for the second time, I sense a look on his face that says to me, “Auntie Vickie, ‘I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate’” (Romans 7:15). Unfortunately for him, I happen to know we haven’t covered Romans yet in his Little Children’s Bible, so he couldn’t possibly be mimicking Paul’s words at this stage of life. Pop!
Don’t you just feel like Paul did at times? You keep doing things you don’t want to do, the things you hate. In this day and time, I spend a lot of energy with counselees on the struggles of the Spirit and the Flesh. In fact, I just finished an hour conversation with a college student on the topic. I cannot express enough to young people and adults alike the importance of understanding the role spiritual warfare plays in our life. We cannot ignore it or we will be defeated by it! When you became a believer you joined the army! The army of God. If there is an army there is an enemy! If there is an enemy, there is a cause. That cause would be the battle for the souls of men regarding ‘eternal life’ and ‘spiritual growth’. If there is a battle, there will be weapons . . . we as believers in Christ MUST be more than ever aware of the truth of God’s Word from Ephesians 6:10-20.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
When God, as a parent, tells us as His children, “No, don’t do that,” He has equipped us to have victory over the struggle through Christ our Salvation, our Righteousness, the Living Word, our Faith! Remember, He didn’t tell us we wouldn’t struggle! He told us we have the Victory!
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