by Neil Anderson
The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Sprit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Are you stymied in your growth because of feelings of inferiority? To whom or to what are you inferior? You are a child of God seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). Do you feel insecure? Your God will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Inadequate? You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Guilty? There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). Worried? God has offered to trade His peace for your anxiety (Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 5:7; John 14:27). Doubt? God provides wisdom for the asking (James 1:5).
Why is there often such great disparity between these two kinds of Christians: spiritual and fleshly? Why are so many believers living so far below their potential in Christ? Why are so few of us enjoying the abundant, productive life we have already inherited?
Part of the answer is related to the process of growth and maturity as the individual believer appropriates and applies his spiritual identity to his day-to-day experience. And yet there are countless numbers of Christians who have been born again for years–even decades–and have yet to experience significant measures of victory over sin and the flesh, a victory which is their inheritance in Christ.
Another part of the answer is due to our ignorance of how the kingdom of darkness is impacting our progress toward maturity. We have a living, personal enemy–Satan–who actively attempts to block our attempts to grow into maturity as God’s children. We must know how to stand against him. Paul wrote about Satan: “We are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Perhaps Paul and the Corinthians weren’t ignorant, but a lot of Christians today surely are. We live as though Satan and his dark realm don’t exist. And our naivete in this area is exacting a crippling toll from our freedom in Christ.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I stand against Satan’s schemes to pollute my life with deeds of sin and the flesh. I embrace my inheritance as a child of God today.