Wars within can be far fiercer than wars without.
Some of my internal wars have been intense. One was my past addiction to tobacco. I started smoking at the age of fourteen. I enjoyed the habit for the next eight years until I began teaching a class at church. I simply didn’t feel comfortable teaching with a pack of cigarettes languishing in my front pocket. So I threw them out. For the next twenty years it appeared I had won the battle. But when things fell apart in my family and in my emotions, I lost the fight again. For four long years, I clutched my friendly enemies. Quitting the next time wasn’t as easy. The battle raged, and demons danced in my head attempting to convince me I needed what I knew I didn’t.
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1 NLT)
Temptations often come from outside sources, but they are fed inwardly by my sinful nature. And it is this inner fuel that causes the outward pull to be so inviting. Even if I languished in solitary confinement, I wouldn’t be able to escape them.
In Christ, the battles with temptation are winnable. He assures me he won’t allow any temptation to come against me that’s more intense than I’m capable of bearing with his power. There will always be an escape hatch.
Feeding this new nature Christ furnishes at salvation is imperative if I’m to win these inward and outward battles. I must depend on the power of God’s Spirit in me. I must think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. When I do, the war within will become merely a skirmish.
What weapons are you using to fight your war within?
Prayer: Thank You Father for giving us the ability to win over temptation and sin. Infuse us with Your power that we might fight the wars within successfully.