The War Against Your Soul
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11 (ESV)
It has been established that we are set apart to represent our Lord on this earth. We have been forgiven and cleansed by an act of unmatched mercy. We have been identified as his people on earth. We have been born again of the imperishable seed of his word. Our purpose is to reveal what free living looks like. We are not only free from the enslaving power of sin, but we are free from the accusing voice of the Law. We have been so united with Christ by the Spirit that we as a faith community can display the original design for mankind. We must be aware that there is a war going on because God’s enemy has a strategy to thwart the plan.
The devil is a liar and continually lies to us about what will bring real satisfaction and fulfillment into our lives. One of his favorite ploys is to get us to believe that real freedom is found when we abandon ourselves to our passions and desires. What a lie! We fell for that before, but now we know that such a practice brings regret, disillusionment, and despair. Even though our culture assures us that we cannot control our desires and that we aren’t being authentic unless we are following them, we know better. We have been empowered by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, and we can put to death the desires that seek to distract and destroy us.
It is not a casual thing. These cravings, if given the opportunity, can harm our soul. It is not something we should treat lightly. Our passions have been distorted by our previous alienation from God. Giving in to these demands puts us into a form of slavery, and that counteracts our purpose. We are free people demonstrating to an enslaved world what freedom looks like. We are free enough to say “no” to these desires, and we must, just as we say “yes” to God’s invitation to be satisfied in Christ’s life. We can win the war for our souls.