Brian Cole: The World, the Flesh and the Devil, Part 1
Psalm 119:129-136 – “…Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts…My eyes shed tears because people do not keep your law.”
Evil is powerful! Temptation is nearly impossible to subvert without something stronger to negate the desire. The “old man” (the flesh) we deal with has its own set of battles. The devil is very good at what he does as he has had thousands of years of experience. For the Christ follower, we don’t just battle on one front, but three: The World, the Flesh and the Devil.
We don’t even need much help from the world and the devil because of our sin nature. The condition of our hearts is spelled out in Romans 3:10-18.
All of this can sway us from the Living God! But God’s testimonies are wonderful! They evoke a sense of awe and wonder because of the God who acts through them.
As pitiful as it sounds, for myself it would be so easy to get right back into using drugs and watching pornography. Having thoughts of: “If only I could just do this…” And, if I was the last man on earth, would I go back to these things? I want to. I wish they weren’t against God’s commands. If only…
This is one of the many reasons I know the Holy Spirit is real and lives inside of me and there is power in the Word of God because it’s the only thing holding me back from doing the things my flesh wants to do!! Early on after I was born again I was still incarcerated, so dealing with the temptations and ungodly desires was a little easier. After I was released from prison those first couple of years the thing that saved me most was having myself surrounded by hardcore men of God who kept me accountable and whom I could go to for anything.
After time, one of the main things that keeps me away from the desires and temptations is this: When I might have the temptation of doing meth again or looking at porn, I just look at those 33 years of my life before Christ life and then look at these last 9 years I have been in Christ, and that pretty much takes me out of the mindset of wanting to fall into that trap again. There is nothing in those last 33 years of my life that I would EVER want to go back to!
Yes, Satan is powerful, but his power is limited and Jesus has authority over him. He’s a defeated foe. Yes, the world has many things which lure us into breaking God’s commands, but there is nothing this world has to offer that is lasting and that can give us the purpose God created us for. And our flesh is a constant battle, but only when we take our eyes off the Cross and realize Jesus died for those things and He dwells inside of us and can defeat our flesh by what He has done.
We deal with these 3 fronts in our lives, but take heed: Rom. 8:31 – “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or danger, or sword?... No, in ALL these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.