THE FIGHT WITHIN
In our Christian walk with God and work for God, the enemy of our souls will not relent, using different devices and means, and so the Bible strictly warns us not to be ignorant of them because such ignorance is very costly. Looking from the book of Nehemiah, after the people of God were mocked and attacked in order to abandon God’s way and work, they didn’t; so the devil brought about the most terrible device against them which is fight within through pollution and perversion.
Through lessons from history, it is easier to resist and overcome fight outside than the fight within. As a child of God with a resolute mind to serve and live for God, it is easier to resist the devil outside than inside. As a church standing on the Word of God, it is easier to fight Satan to flee away than to fight the battle within. The children of Israel conquered all the enemies but they could not conquer themselves.
The people of Nehemiah resisted Sanballat, Tobiah and the Arabs, but they would have to resist perversion and pollution among them. After they overcame mockery and conspiracy, they must overcome their selfish and sinful interests.
Nehemiah 5:1, 6-8, “And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. 2 For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live… And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. 7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them. 8 And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”
Pollution and perversion are the last but not the least among satanic devices; it is applicable in personal and ministerial walks.
As children of God, dedicated to live holy and righteous life, after we fight opposition from people, after we resist temptation for sexual immorality, lying, drink, fighting and other outward sins; after we have settled restitution and resolved matters with people, having done all, we must stand against the wiles of the devil within. Many believers and ministers of God overcome outward sins but are careless to resist the devil within.
There are two types of sins: Maximum sins and minimum sins, also outward sins and inward sins; all unrighteousness is sin, and sin is sin with capacity to drag one to hell, no matter how small. Most time we focus on maximum and outward sins and we become careless about inward sins, many ministers are free from outward sins but are slaves to inward sins. As the examples given about bitterness, a child of God may not revenge or repay evil for evil, but if he or she allows bitterness, Satan has eventually won the battle. Among children of God today, among ministers of God, many claim to be holy based on outward sins but fail to look inward and be watchful.
In our personal walk with God, after we overcome outward sins and opposition, Apostle Paul admonished us to still stand and watch against the wiles of the devil because it does not end outward. Here are some of the inward sins we must daily watch against:
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking – gossip, backbiting, envy, jealousy, etc – must be put away, because the tendency will always come without notice in our personal relationship and in the work of God among other workers and ministers; watch out, they come on a daily bases.
To overcome bitterness, the solution is forgiving one another. To overcome wrath, anger, and clamor, the solution is to be tenderhearted. And to overcome tendency of evil speaking, the solution is kindness to one another. These are stated in the next verse to Ephesians 4:31, verse 32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Do you know as times goes on in your Christian life, it may be easier to resist telling lies than to resist envy and jealousy? And worst still, do you know that it is easier to develop envy and jealousy among brethren and ministers than among family members and unbelievers? It is also easier to develop bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking after we have become mature in the Lord than when we first gave our lives to Jesus; it is easier among the workers and ministers of God. In the parable of the workers of the vineyard, the old and long time workers were rebuked of such evil. Matthew 20:13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 15, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’”
Along our Christian walks and ministerial works, if care is not taken, we can become evil, evil speaking, envious and jealous. The only remedy is selflessness and watchfulness.
Continuous watchfulness against such notions and constant prayer of sanctification are the solutions.
Lord Jesus Christ, we have come to you, we have surrendered our lives to You. We want to walk with you and work for You, so we ask You to sanctify us within and without, help us to watch daily against every pollution of soul, of mind and of the spirit. We ask in Jesus name. Amen
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