From the moment you decided to become a Christian by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart, you automatically joined the crowd of people on the narrow way to heaven. On this narrow road, we are going to face so much opposition because there are many enemies. In this lesson, we are going to consider only three enemies that a Christian has to face on the narrow way to heaven. They are:
1) The World
2) The Flesh
3) The Devil
The Bible uses the expression, “The World” to refer to many things. Sometimes this word means the earth that God has created. Or it could mean specifically people. An example of that is in John 3 vs. 16 where we are told that
God so loved the world…
For our current purpose, the world means anything material that Satan may use to distract us from following God whole-heartedly. These things often draw our attention, take our time, rouse our feelings and they add no spiritual value into our lives. There is currently a lot of debate around their application and use in Christian communities. The world includes entertainment venues, media such as television, radio and internet, sports, politics, fashion, current trends and opinions etc. The list is endless since every generation introduces a host of things that may prove useless and unprofitable in terms of Spiritual progress.
These things may take our valuable time which we could have spent meditating on God’s word or in prayer. The Bible has to say this about the world,
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2 vs. 15.
Christ gave His life for us to free us from the world and so many things in it that may attract us and draw us further away from God. To overcome this situation we need to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our hearts. He is the only one who can satisfy our souls. The world cannot offer us any satisfaction no matter how varied its entertainment might be.
If you want to have the great love of the Lord in your heart you must think of His great love to you. Remember what He did for you when He suffered on the cross. The Bible says,
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth.” Colossians 3 vs. 2.
The flesh is our very own natural being. We can also use the word “self” to mean the same thing as the flesh. The flesh is proud. We sometimes feel that we are better than others. That is SELF! The flesh is selfish. That is SELF! Self looks only at personal gratification. SELF refuses to submit to authorities. Self never admits his mistakes but always points an accusing finger to other people. The flesh is irritable. That is SELF! Self does not want to forgive others but he is short tempered. God tells us to forgive others but self will not do that.
As you are reading this lesson, you may not want to believe the things we have been talking about. That is SELF! When the flesh is in control of our lives, we do not want to be told we are wrong and we certainly are not willing to believe that. Instead, we may even get so angry!
When we were saved, however, the Lord Jesus Christ came to dwell in our hearts. He came in, of course, in the person of the Holy Spirit. However, there is still a problem. Our sinful nature, the flesh or self still remains with us. We did not cease to be human when we became Christians. So there is a continuous battle in a Christian’s life; whether to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit or to follow our own hearts, that is our SELF.
Self encourages us to do sinful things. We are proud, we are arrogant, we are unforgiving and we do so many other bad things. These things hurt God; It causes shame to God when Christians do these things.
The way to overcome SELF is to make the Lord Jesus Christ the King in your life. Let Christ have rule over you, let Him direct your steps. He deserves to be in that position because we belong to Him. The Bible says,
“…you are not your own. For you were bought at a price…” 1 Corinthians 6 vs. 19-20.
The price that Jesus paid was His own blood. He gave His life to redeem us. We now belong to Him and He has every right to own us and rule over us. When Christ rules in your heart, we will have His love, peace and joy in our hearts. We will no more submit to sin caused by SELF.
The greatest enemy of Christians is the devil. The name Devil means ‘deceiver’. His other name is Satan, which means ‘adversary or enemy’. The Bible says,
“Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5 vs. 8.
The devil is not happy by your decision to accept the Lord Jesus. You left him to follow Christ and He knows that you are going to Heaven. There is nothing he can do to stop that. However, he will continue to tempt you and cause you to sin so that he can take away your joy.
He does so by introducing evil thoughts in our minds. He can do that himself or use other means to do so. Around us we are surrounded by his agents. We are tempted to steal, drink alcohol, and commit sexual immorality, fight, hate and lust.
And when he does manage to overcome and we do fall into sin, Satan will discourage you from moving forward as a Christian. He will remind you that you are a failure, that God will never forgive you again and at that moment you begin to question your salvation. He introduces fear and doubt in your life. What a terrible enemy he is!
No! The devil is mightier than we. But the good news is that Christ has already won the battle for us. When the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross, the devil thought that finally he had won. He thought death will be the end of Christ. But that was not the end.
The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead! He has victory over death and over the devil. We share the same victory with the Lord Jesus because we are his. He died and rose again for us. His victory is our victory. We have been set free from the power of the devil. We do not need to fear the devil. Why? We do not need to fear the devil because Christ, who now lives in us, is greater than the devil that is in the world. (1 John 4 vs. 4)
The devil can only tempt us. He cannot cause us to sin. We can resist him. We can say ‘No!’ to him and he will walk away. The Bible reminds us of this power which is already in our possession,
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4 vs. 7.
What happens when we fail and commit sin? Does God have a plan to take care of His children when they fall in sin? Read what the Bible says,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1 vs. 9.
What does this mean? It means that God will completely forgive us from our sins if we do not try to hide them from Him. He will “wash us clean!”
What must we do upon the realization that we have sinned? We must:
1) Confess our sins to God
2) Believe that God will forgive us
We need to mention the exact sin that we committed before God. When we confess our sins, we should not give excuses as to how it happened or who is to blame. We need to admit our faults take responsibility for our actions. Furthermore, if we have wronged others, we need to reconcile with them. Make peace with others and forgive them if they have done something wrong against you. Likewise apologize to those you have wronged. Finally, we simply have to believe that God has forgiven us if we have confessed. I know that the devil will bring doubt to your heart and you may continue to feel guilty about your failures. Trust in God, He has promised to forgive us and so He will forgive you!
God wants us to have victory in our lives! If we take time to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ and to trust and obey His word we will have victory in our lives. We will be able to say ‘No!’ to the world, the flesh and the devil.
After being saved, the Lord wants us to lead others to Him. The Bible says,
“He who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11: 30.
Below are a few steps to help you tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ and win them to Christ:
1) I have sinned.
Tell your friends the truth. The Bible says that all of us are sinners. Realizing that we are sinners is the first step towards repentance. (Romans 3 vs. 23)
2) God loves me
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins on the cross. This act demonstrates that God loves us even though we are sinners. (John 3 vs. 16)
3) Christ died for me
Christ has paid the penalty for our sins. He died in our place and rose again from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15 vs. 3&4)
4) I accept Christ
To be a child of God, we must accept the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior and turn away from our sins. (John 1 vs. 12)
5) I have eternal life
If anyone believes that Jesus died for them and accept Him the Bible assures us that, that person has eternal life. (John 3 vs. 36).
By showing someone these simple steps, you could in fact win a soul to God. So why don’t you start by telling your friend. May God bless you!
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