With every sunrise and the awakening of the eyes, the war with Satan begins. A man uttered a prayer to God saying, “So far today, I’ve done O.K. I haven’t lost my temper and I haven’t gossiped. I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish, and I am really glad for that! But in a few minutes, Father, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help. Thank you!” Overcoming temptation and the power of sin is a struggle in which the child of God is continuously involved.
Many times, we find ourselves overcome by temptations and struggles again and again. With each day, new challenges face the Christian. To fight the good fight is to continue the struggle each day as the one before, because Satan is never tiring in his work. Peter tells us to add perseverance to our faith (2 Peter 1:6). For a continued spirit of diligence is needed to make our calling and election sure. James tells us, “That the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
As we look at our lives and wonder how we can ever overcome temptation and sin, the outlook seems bleak. We resign ourselves to accept our sin and pray for God’s mercy. Often, we become despondent over the possibilities of truly being what God wants us to be. When that happens, we in effect have decided that it is not possible to defeat Satan and it is easier to give him the victory than to continue fighting.
Many Reasons for Failure
The reasons for failure are numerous and shared by all men alike. Many know the answer to overcoming sin and even amid combat – armed with the weapons of defense against sin – lay them down to be overcome. Can we be victorious? Can we truly have the hope of eternal life burning within us? Can we be all that God wants us to be? Is that power of faith available to me?
Jesus gives us the answer. “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). We tend to look at the “big picture” of our life and see what a great challenge we face to overcome sin. While we must be aware of the “big picture” and understand the whole, perhaps we need to focus more on today.
Each day is a big enough picture to look at and deal with. All the tomorrow’s that will ever exist have so many worries and anxieties about them that we can never deal with them. That is why someone said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, God is already there.” God can deal with all the tomorrow’s and as His Son tells us to deal with the day at hand and we shall have enough to do. As the Danish proverb says, “The only mile we have to worry about is the next mile.”
From this realization that our lives are only understood by the day in which we have, we then must learn how to begin each day to help us through the remainder of the day. Health officials tells us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it sets to tone for our day’s health. As with the body, we must feast upon spiritual matters to help us make a good day in the work of the Kingdom.
First, a realization of what lies before us is important to remember. As Paul pointed out in Ephesians 6, we face on onslaught of mighty forces that seek to destroy us. We cannot go out in the day thinking that we are fighting against a small, unprepared army.
If we awoke to the presence of 500,000 armed soldiers surrounding our home with every conceivable weapon of war at their disposal (2 Kings 6), would we just walk out the door casually and think we could defeat this whole army unprepared? That probably is not going to happen, but we must realize Satan is there with his army each day even though we may not physically see them.
A Commitment is Necessary
Jesus died on the cross to give us the victory over sin. We can repel the forces of Satan because the power that we have is greater than the power Satan has. One of Satan’s most effective tools is to convince us that he is too big to defeat. In our daily struggles, we give up because we believe it impossible to stop sin. On the contrary, we have such a great army at our disposal that Satan trembles at the knowledge of such.
God did not leave us alone nor unguarded to fight the host of wickedness. “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24).
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We can defeat ourselves if we do not make the proper preparation for the battle. Paul illustrates in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the whole armor of God to withstand in the evil day. Each day must be faced with the commitment to conquer the day. Again, the focus is not to worry about tomorrow but to face the day that is upon us.
A commitment for the day is needed to know the battle plan. We know we have the victory, but we must enact our will to follow the plan for victory. Each day must be faced with prayer. Our prayer is a commitment to overcome what we see approaching during the day. Prayer is not a generalization of some religious thoughts or saying “God, help me.” Rather, it is a specific declaration of truths. In speaking to God, tell him what you plan to do for the day and how you plan to carry it out.
Examine the day and its challenges and declare in specific terms how you will overcome the temptation or sin.
A daily reading of the Bible is not an option to learn how to fight against Satan – it is an absolute necessity! How many times have faithful Christians gone out to battle without a knowledge of God? How many Christians have been overcome by sin due to a lack of His Word? The word of God not only tells us about the wonderful grace and love of God, but it also tells us how the devil works.
Originally by Kent Heaton
Edited and adapted by Jack Critchfield