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  • Writer's pictureBy Pastor Andy Plank

Resist and Conquer

July 30, 2023

Last week, we talked about the fact that as Christians, we are pilgrims and sojourners in this world. We used I Peter 2:11-12 as our reference point. Let’s look at these verses again. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” We talked about how a Christ follower should look, walk, and talk differently than those in the world. We also discussed that one of the ways we do this is by abstaining (staying away from) fleshly lusts. Now we raise the question, why should Christ followers avoid fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? Peter tells us in his very next phrase, because fleshly lusts “war against the soul.” In the heart and mind of every believer, there is war going on and the object of this war is your soul (sanctification). Another way to put this is saying there is a battle for who is going to be on the throne of your life, you or Jesus? A very practical way of answering this question is how is the war against your fleshly desires going? Is the flesh winning, or is Jesus winning? The first step toward winning the war is showing up for the battle! Are you fighting or fainting? Do we even fire off a shot or do we just give in to whatever the flesh desires? This is a war to die to yourself in order to be made like Jesus Christ! To be in the center of God’s will, there is no in between…no middle ground…no Switzerland! You must pick a side and SHOW UP FOR THE BATTLE!! Satan is seeking to destroy any chance of you becoming like Christ and one of the ways he does that is through your own fleshly desires. After being born again, the biggest enemy you will ever face is you! Christ has already defeated Satan. Christ is living in you. Claim the victory Jesus has already won for you! One of the ways to claim this victory is to abstain from fleshly lusts. RESIST AND CONQUER! Notice Peter doesn’t say to conquer culture, neighbors, or our government; but he tells us to conquer OURSELVES. The greatest danger to the church today isn’t danger from the outside but rather from the inside. Our biggest obstacle is most often us. One more thing, Satan can’t MAKE you and me do anything. We are tempted by our own passions and desires and, if we are going to successfully navigate this life as citizens of a heavenly kingdom, it starts with living differently from the rest of the word and THAT starts with abstaining from fleshly lusts and showing up for the battle. Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy

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