We live in a battle, a war for our souls, that continues right through our life on earth.
Many christians misunderstand the nature of the battle or the purpose of their lives for that matter. Being hoodwinked by an easy gospel (“Just say this prayer to get into heaven”) robs them of the ability to follow Jesus day to day.
Jesus’ command to all his disciples is this: Follow me.
The invitation starts now, not in the next life. From the moment when we say “Yes” to Jesus we find ourselves embroiled in a war that never seems to ease. It feels like we are being torn apart by God on one side and the devil teaming with our own fallen nature on the other side.
Why does God allow satan such authority in our lives as to be speaking a constant stream of lies, enticements and suggestions?
That is because we are being trained for eternity. The goal of God’s great project that has run over several millennia is to raise up a race of men and women who have faced every testing imaginable and come through with undiluted devotion to walking in the ways of purity and holiness.
In this daily warfare that we call life, every time we say “No” to temptation is a victory, a step forward. Every battle won, no matter how small, is a strengthening of resolve, an advance in holiness.
Even our defeats are not defeats at all when seen this way. I failed this test, this temptation, but now I look again to my Lord and Redeemer, and I see another weakness that will be made strong in His grace.
The trouble is that in our defeats we believe the lies of the evil one. We believe that we are not good enough, that we are broken and beyond salvation, or that this sin will for ever define us.
Don’t believe the lies. Look to the Lord. See His never-failing love, even as He welds new plates on to your armour.
Step by step, battle by battle, small victory added to victory, we become holy, more and more like Jesus, transformed from glory to glory.