I’ll never forget the first time I played paintball. I was prepared. I wore camouflage and had all my protective gear on. I had a plan. I was at the bottom of a long hill on top of which was the enemy flag. I slowly made my way from tree to tree, carefully scouring the terrain for enemies. I reached a difficult spot. The next place I wanted to be was behind a pile of rocks 15 feet away. There was a wide open area between. I patiently scouted the area. With no enemies in sight I jumped up dashing towards my goal and Boom! Boom! Boom! I was pummeled with paintballs! I couldn’t believe it! Where did they come from? In a few quick seconds I was out of the game! I didn’t expect to get hit so soon. I quickly learned I didn’t know much about paintball.
There are many Christians who are regularly getting pummeled by our spiritual enemies. Unfortunately it isn’t a game. The consequence of being unprepared for spiritual attacks isn’t a few bruises. It’s discouragement, frustration, failure and sin.
The Bible tells us that as children of God we have three spiritual enemies whose goal is to lead us away from God, to sin and death. Today we are going to see who these enemies are and then in the next three posts we will look at each enemy in more detail.
The Christian’s Three Enemies
In Ephesians chapter two we find these three enemies described. The Apostle Paul first talks about our lives before we knew God and as he does he describes how we were connected to these enemies.
- The first enemy he identifies is the world. Ephesians 2:1-2
- The second enemy he identifies is Satan. Ephesians 2:2
- The third enemy he identifies is the flesh. Ephesians 2:3
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world”
The world is the culture and system of beliefs promoted by the society in which we live which is opposed to God.
“following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience”
Satan is a powerful spirit-being, created by God who rebelled against God and is followed by a large number of like-minded spirit beings who attack to cause damage to Christians and the work of God.
“among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
The flesh, also called sin nature, is that inclination to sin that produces evil desires within all people.
Aligned from birth with these three enemies and condemned to death, God made us alive as His children of when He saved us by grace through faith. These enemies no longer have control over us. But they haven’t given up attacking. They are deadly and when they attack it is no game.
Can you recognize when these enemies attack? Which enemy do you think is the worst? Which one do we have the most problem with? Please leave a comment or question below.