Revelation 12:17 - So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
I read this verse this morning and have been thinking about what it means. As I was thinking, I considered the truthfulness of the war I am engaged in with the enemy(should enemies be plural?) on a daily basis. In Scripture, we are to do battle with our flesh and the world:
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Phi 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
We are to do battle with the devil:Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
1 John 5:19 "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one."
2Co 4:4 in whom the god [devil] of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.
Eph 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.I am writing this today because I often forget that there is an enemy out there who is enraged with me and who desires to destroy all of God's work. Most of the time, I think of myself waging war with my flesh and get so caught up in that mind frame that I forget that there truly is something outside of me that is evil and desiring me to do the wicked things.
I can remember how I felt when I was in Iraq. I knew there were men out there who, if they could take me alive, would cut my head off (literally) if given the chance. I had seen many videos of them doing so to others and found many bodies without their heads attached and knew that they would just as easily do so to me. This frightened me, although I would never express that fear to my comrades. I say all of this to make the point that it would have been more dangerous for me to live in Iraq as if they weren't there. It wouldn't stop their hatred towards me, nor would it stop the consequences if they could get a hold of me and so the best thing to do is to be aware of the fact that they are there and will kill me if given opportunity.
It is the same with the Devil. I ought not to think like there isn't someone out there attempting to take my life. That there isn't someone out there who desires to destroy everything the Lord has done with my life. Every temptation ought to be seen as a mortar round exploding in close proximity to my soul. Every evil desire ought to be viewed as a roadside bomb going off next to the vehicle I am going through life with. Why do I always try to just talk myself out of temptation, as if it is just some flaw in my Christian mind? Modern psychology has played an important role in minimizing the existence of the Devil in my life and I am seeing that I am not doing battle as I must. I will not go so far as to say I will fear the Devil and his fiendish tactics as I did the enemy in Iraq, but I ought to fear God's wrath, especially if I fail to resist the Devil and his ways.
Just some thoughts I have been having and this mornings readings have really amplified some of the things I have been thinking about.