Understanding Spiritual Warfare: The Mind and The Flesh
July 17, 2017
I’m going to finish with the areas that Satan can get an advantage on us, dealing with the words “war” and “warfare,” found in the New Testament.
The first area is the mind and the second area is the flesh, along with the body.
1 Peter 2:11 is the last scripture with the word, “war,” in it. The New Living Version Translation of the Bible says, “Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” The King James Version says, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”
We are temporary residents of this world and are to abstain from desiring fleshly things of this world, because it creates a war or battle in our soul. Our fleshly nature wants it’s way.
Let’s look at the word, “fleshly.”
In the Vines Expository, “fleshly,” means “Carnal; Carnally.” It signifies, “having the nature of flesh; sensual, controlled by animal appetites; governed by human nature, instead of by the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor 3:3; having its seat in the animal nature, or excited by it, or as the equivalent of “human,” with the added idea of weakness, figuratively of the weapons of spiritual warfare, “of the flesh,” as we see in 2 Cor 10:4; or with the idea of unspirituality, of human wisdom, “fleshly,” 2 Cor 1:12; “pertaining to the flesh” ( the body), Rom 15:27; 1 Cor 9:11.
If you haven’t noticed, I love word studies.
Look up some of those additional scriptures listed, with their meanings for the word, “flesh.”
One definition of “fleshly” was brought out as, “animal nature.” In my observation, the disposition of an animal is to be territorial with the propensity to dominate. That definitely describes “self.” The other definition also conveyed being “controlled” or “governed” by the human nature instead of the Spirit of God.
I’m sure you have heard someone say, “Well, I’m only human.” In actuality, they are saying, “Well, I’m controlled or governed by my own human nature.” Often times, we just excuse our behavior. Instead, we should say, “Well, there I go again allowing my evil twin to control my behavior.”
The Bible says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 1 Cor 11:31. I want to interject this example to enforce this point.
During the ministry of Kenneth E. Hagin, the Lord instructed him to tell a certain minister that he was going to die. This man was very renowned during the 60’s and had one of the most powerful healing ministries ever noted. The Lord told Brother Hagin to tell that man if he did not judge himself in three specific areas, he would reap the consequences. The three areas were: diet, finances and his love walk with other ministers. Well, the man did not receive the word from Brother Hagin and within three years, the man died. Brother Hagin tells the story on a video from Youtube called, “The Revelation Gifts of the Word of Wisdom and Discerning of Spirits.” It can also be found at www.lifechangingtruth.org.
“Judge yourself, that you won’t be Judged.”
Admitting our wrong to the Lord and asking Him to forgive us will bring healing and health to our soul.
Galatians 6:8 says, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
My pursuit is to stay in the Spirit, not allowing Satan to have any territory in my life. My confession is, “I delight to do Thy will and to do Thy will is not grievous to me.”
In the definition of the word, “flesh,” it also mentions, the “body.” Remember the physical body in and of itself is not evil, and without our bodies, we could not live on this planet. We have a responsibility to take care of our physical bodies and rely on the provision of the cross for healing.
We do, however, have to bring our bodies into subjection to our spirit man, and not the other way around. Even the Apostle Paul had to deal with his own body.
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:27.
We have to take charge of our minds, the nature of our flesh, and our bodies to remain qualified to fulfill our mission, which is pushing back the forces of darkness and advancing the Kingdom of God.
Romans 7:18 says, “In my flesh there is no good thing.” In Galatians 5:16 it says, “…walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.
“Sacrifice” in Strong’s Concordance means, “victim.” The Apostle Paul is telling us it is only reasonable for us to give our bodies to God because of the mercy He has bestowed on us. As we are presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:2 tells us we are to, “…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Transformation only occurs when we mix God’s Word with our faith and say what He says. Then, our behavior will follow. The more Word we meditate on, the more we can prove what is the Lord.
The words, “war” and “warfare,” that we have studied over these past few weeks, have really re-enforced the teaching of sanctification. Sanctification doesn’t seem to follow the treads of “the church of today.” Sanctification is not a feel good message. Sanctification requires me to come out of the world, out of it’s opinions and wisdom, and no longer look to the world for my answers. Instead, sanctification requires me to look for God’s opinion and wisdom. The scriptures teach us to be separate from the world but not segregated from the world, or else, how would we win the lost?
1 John 2:15-17 states, “Love not the world, neither conceits nor opinions or the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God.”
Presenting ourselves wholly to the Lord is “spiritual warfare,” and loving our Father God, along with each other is also “spiritual warfare.” Every time we allow the fruits of the Spirit to flow through us to others, we are doing, “spiritual warfare.” Being imitators of our Father God is the highest form of “spiritual warfare.” This can only be accomplished by loving the Lord our God with our whole beings. Luke 10:27.
Through this journey of scriptures, you can see that the devil is not completely to blame for all of our problems. God is endeavoring through His Word, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, to bring us into an understanding of the access points that would give Satan an advantage over us.
The next phase of this teaching on Understanding Spiritual Warfare, we’ll be taking a look at, “The Bewares.” Then, I would like to move on to, “The Three Kingdoms.”
Blessings to you all, God’s Beloved!
“Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is with in me bless His holy name!”