Today within the global North, most people believe that the world can primarily understood by science. Most people in the global South believe that the world operates mostly spiritually. The same was true of of Europe as it is now in the global South up through the fist half of the premodern period just about the time of the Crusades in the Middle East. Aristotle’s ideas were considered heresy throughout the first half of the European Middle Ages because God was to be understood primarily by faith not reason.
Some Christians today in America and Europe are finally challenging the idea that the spiritual and physical worlds operate separably. Christians are finally seeing that the mind is where the real spiritual battle takes place not the Middle East or the public educational system. There is now thinking within Christian circles that America is actually becoming more spiritual, just not always in a good way.
Interactions with the spiritual world occur in our minds and then cascade down into our decision making process and then through our physical actions so that sin goes from inception to action and ultimately death. To break the chain of causality to do evil we have to have a degree of self confidence and responsibility. This confidence comes deeply rooted in who we are spiritually by God’s free gift to us that cost Him everything, when we are once saved.
As the spiritual battles are subtle and deceptive our biggest weapon is the truths God has revealed to us in the Bible. What Christ has done for us and who we are because of what He did is what enables us to be grown up and mature Christians. While we are to grow up and take responsibility and use the tools God gives us with confidence, we are to root everything in Christ. Spiritually we are weak without Christ but unbeatable as long as we submit ourselves to Christ and His will.
One of the most important things to do to win spiritually is to pray first. Everything is affected by the spiritual world and this is in fact the bigger world that the physical is only one small part of. That means that although we clearly must take care of things in this world that we physically live in, there is a more significant struggle at work.
Christianity is a process and struggle throughout your entire life before death. The only safety we have in the world is Christ alone. Not even the Church offers any true safety. God determines what happens in every reality and has thoroughly and completely destroyed the devil’s power over us and the penalty for sin on the cross when He died for our sins.
But to apply this victory to our lives and resist the temptations of the evil one we need to use the tools God gave us. These tools include believing the things God promised us, following the commands He gave us, and accepting the truths He has revealed to us concerning us, Himself, and our relationship. They require us to act on who God says we are, submitting ourselves to Christ’s authority, repenting of any and all sin, and committing ourselves to truth in every form.
Simply put, we are not going to stop a lifestyle of sin because we pray for it. We must get up, get out, and do the work. We must make clear and audible declarations of whose side we are on and start speaking with authority in Christ’s name.
Christians don’t need to be afraid of the devil. We struggle mostly against our own sin nature. He makes things worse and amplifies our rebellion against God.
The focus should always be on our Lord and Savior Christ. We must accept that we sin because we choose to. We must then choose not to when we are tempted by challenging each and every thought as it comes into our heads.
But although we have the greatest safety in Christ we must take a clear side and choose to fight. We cannot remain neutral in this world. But we also need to not base this self confidence on our own abilities or try to work independently of Christ.
We are children of God full stop. This happens immediately after we genuinely turn our life over to Christ. God has given us victory but we must first stand up to the devil. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
We will be attacked no matter who we are or what we do. This should show us that even the devil thinks we are of significance. We should then call upon the name of the Lord our God and He will save us.
We have complete freedom in Christ as He never forces us to do anything against our will. This means we must stand up and resist as God will not make our choices for us.
Be very careful and specific about what you say when confronted with a spiritual battle. Always speak in the name of Christ. Do not get into a contest of wills or delude yourself into thinking the power comes from you.
This is serious business and you are an authority figure whether you want to be or not. The most important proactive things you can do are make it clear whose side you are on and own up to your sins immediately.
Do not try to deceive anyone or have anything to hide. God already know and likely so does the devil. You also need to say things out loud as the devil cannot hear your thoughts. Only God can.
You cannot choose God plus some other combination of beliefs. You believe in God period. If you try to hold onto anything else you will suffer for it and ultimately your suffering will have no meaning.
We need to make sure we continue to submit our mind, body, and soul to God daily. We are in a world where we are forced into 2 camps more and more. The answer isn’t I prefer Christ or I prefer being self-sufficient. The answer is I am all in for Christ or I am not at all.
You will not lose your place in heaven because of your sins. But you will suffer greatly for it until you admit what you did and choose out loud and follow through with your commitment by your future actions.
You can live in victory. Just make sure you are in God’s will. Do not take on anything in life alone. This is even more true with spiritual things.