If you are struggling from depression or anxiety please realize that God loves you! There were great men of God that sometimes struggled with depression and anxiety but God always gave them the victory! And he will give it to you too! The Bible teaches us that we have to renew our minds with the word of God (Bible) and this takes some time and practice (Romans 12:1-2). When we became born-again we became new creations of God (2nd Corinthians 5:17). God forgave us and cleansed us of all of our sins. But there is still quite literally a war going on within us for our devotion or mind and will. On the one side we have the flesh (old carnal sinful nature that still wants to rule us) and on the other side we have the Holy Ghost (the new godlike nature that desires Godly things). As born-again Christians we now have new desires and a new life but we must feed our spirit with the word of God on a regular basis. We also need to pray, study the Bible and congregate with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Now you must realize that faithful living is a process of growth and you mustn't punish yourself when you fall at times. We all do! The Bible says that a righteous man may fall seven times but still gets back up. Seven is symbolical of a much higher number.
Now please don't get discouraged this article is meant to open your eyes to spiritual warfare and it's reality in our daily lives. This helps to explain feelings and battles that we possess within us. But the real truth is that we positionally already have won the war over sin through our Lord Jesus Christ! That's right, the real battle is over! That is why on the cross Jesus could say "it is done"! But this refers to our position in Christ through Jesus offering himself on the cross. But living a life free of sin everyday requires trust in God and learning to think his word constantly. We may have a new nature but we still have the old nature as well that likes to fight for the control it once had. You may also think that it's impossible to live above sin. Well the truth is that without the empowerment of the Holy Ghost we cannot even attempt to live above sin. But after the Holy Ghost came to live within your heart you were equipped to live in victory! Yes God now empowers you to do live in love, peace and victory!
But you may say to yourself " I fail alot and still do the things that I actually hate". Well that old stubborn nature still fights for control. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God" (Galations 2:20). Jesus actually is living this life through you! Your old sinful self died on the cross! So why do you still have the same old sinful feelings you say? Well you still have the same old feelings because the old nature does not want to admit that it has lost control and it fights constantly to trick you into thinking that it is still boss. The apostle Paul also said "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate I do (Romans 7:15) now listen to what he went on to say "And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it (Romans 7: 15-20). The message here is that we still have an old sinful nature fighting for control. Even though we have been cleansed by the blood of the lamb and God's forgiveness. The old nature while not the boss would still like to be the boss. The Bible tells us we have a choice to put on the new man which is created after God in righteousness and not the old man which is carnal and sinful (Colossians).
Let's illustrate this point with a small story. There once was a sailor who had a mean captain that was always ordering him around and being cruel. He was constantly yelling while acting rude and bossy. But then one day a new captain took over in his place. This man was considerate, kind and respectful and it was a pleasure to serve him. The old captain was allowed to stay on board for visits sometimes and travel but he had no authority whatsoever. One day one of the crew members was happily doing his work when the old Captain barked out an order at him in anger. He still wanted to be the boss. The crew member almost instinctively followed his directions from his memory but then he realized that the old captain had no power and his peace returned. He firmly said to the old captain "I don't have to listen to you any more I have a new captain now, I take orders only from him and he is a kind and respectful man". The old captain just shrugged and walked away in defeat. Do you get the message? The old nature needs to be put in its place! Now this will take practice, prayer, consistency and as already emphasized strength from God. He is the one living in you remember! So not only do you have status through Jesus you also have power over sin in your daily life! Just remember that Jesus won the war and he actually came to live within you to give you victory! God's word is your sword and Jesus can use it through you everyday! God.
Yes it's true that there is much to be said about spiritual warfare but the main gest is that Jesus now lives within you and he will never leave you nor forsake you! Demons tremble in his presence! Speak the word, think the word, pray the word and believe the word! God bless you friends!
By Gordon E. Dawe