I don’t know if you are like me but sometimes when I am tired or confused, I want to escape, go climb into my cave, disengage and veg out. “Hey, everyone, leave me alone. Let me be!” However, life doesn’t work like that does it? There is a war occurring in each of our minds and around us…this battle never stops or lets up.
So, what do we have to do? You will find that we have to stay alert and engaged:
- Peter in the 5th chapter of his first epistle states, “8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” Your mind and will are constantly under attack. The devil is looking for any vulnerability in your being to deceive you. You have to constantly be alert and of sober mind.
- Ephesians 6:18 states, “18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” God calls us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. For this to happen, we have to moment-by-moment be on alert and engaged.
- Paul gives a quick five-point admonishment how men are to behave in 1 Cor. 16:13-14, 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. Where does Paul start? “Be on your guard…”
In Matthew 4:1-4 the following episode happened to Jesus, Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” As we know, Jesus was fully human…had to be to become our savior. He had the same temptations common to man. Jesus had been without food for forty days. Two things had to be true. He was famished and very hungry. He would have been vulnerable as a man, tempted to chill out, escape, disengage. And, the devil was on his game. “If you are truly hungry, time for you to show this by “telling these stones to become bread.” What a temptation! This would be easy for Jesus to do. However, He was alert and spiritually engaged recognizing the devil’s deception would have placed His desires first rather than obedience to God the Father. Jesus used the same capability that all of us Christians have and spoke the truth to the devil by quoting from the word of God. Being the father of lies, the devil hates the truth. He is defenseless to the truth in the Word of God.
After the devil recognized that even in a vulnerable time, Jesus was engaged and spoke the truth. He would not win. So, what did he do? Luke 4:13 states, 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. He does not give up. However, we all know that the devil eventually got his backside thoroughly kicked. Colossians 2 states 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
The war is won in the spiritual realm. For us to claim the victory we must be alert and of sober mind prepared to stand in the truth. If we do, we win.