Study from God’s Word… The entire letter from Peter (i.e., 1st Peter) to Christians in Asia-Minor in his day, which was a time when Christians were being severely persecuted by non-believing Jews and the Roman authorities under Nero … Passage for Reflection: 1st Peter 2: 11 … NIV Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires [“fleshly lusts” in the NKJV], which war against your soul.
My Journal for Today: Today’s reading from the first letter Peter wrote to persecuted Christians in Asia-Minor and more specifically the highlighted text for today, chosen by Dr. Smith in his devotional, mean a lot to me. I have been called to lead a ministry, called Battle Plan Ministry - website linked here, which is primarily for Christian men who have fallen on the spiritual battle fields and surrendered to the flesh [i.e., sexual sin] rather than stand for the righteousness of Christ. And in today’s text, Peter is warning Christians, who feel like they are alien warriors fighting the good fight of Christ in a strange and perverse world, to abstain from the very natural desire to succumb to the fleshly ways of the enemy in this alien world.
Yes, as Christians, we’re definitely not residents or citizens of this world. When we become truly born-again Christians, we become aliens to a world which has been occupied and ruled by Satan; and we’ve also become warriors for Christ because of Him choosing to set aside His glory to come among us, to live, to minister, and to die as the Lamb of God for our sins. So, when we really/truly receive Christ as our Commander in Chief, we become alien warriors who always must be on guard in following the steps of our field Captain, the Holy Spirit, who shines a light on our path through this hostile land.
And Peter was trying to enlighten, encourage, and empower Christians who were under severe attack in the arenas of battle in Asia-Minor (as well as any Christians today who feel the attacks of our spiritual enemies). Surely you recognize, fellow Christian warrior, that you’re in a battle every day of your life; and we have natural weaknesses [not the least of which is our own spiritual being – see Jer. 17: 9]; and as warrior enemies, we are vulnerable to the strategies/ploys of our enemy, Satan, who has established some serious beachheads and developed some very powerful weaponry, all designed to bring down Christian warriors in battle.
And even our allies in the Church have become either naïve to our situation or complacent as fighting agents of our Lord. Too many in the church have become double-agents, claiming allegiance with Christ, but wearing the uniform of the world and following all too comfortably its lead. Dr. Smith’s challenging question for today is directed to any Christian warrior in this alien world. He writes, ”What success am I having in abstaining from the sinful desires hurled at me as a believing alien in a hostile world?”
It pains me to see many Christians becoming easy prey for Satan and his sophisticated ploys, using his very certain power, as he does battle to attempt to render the witness and testimonies of alien Christians null-and-void in this world. When we surrender and fall to the world, we have no power of witness in this world. And God has given us that warrior power, as well as the charge to use it as His witnesses. [see Acts 1: 8]. And, my friends, His power, when we choose to follow it and use it, is always greater than that of the enemy [see 1st John 4: 4]. But as alien soldiers in God’s army, we have to CHOOSE to receive/use the enabling/empowering grace within us as we CHOOSE to follow the Savior rather than self or Satan. The operant word – in caps there – is the crux of the matter. It’s always a matter of CHOICE.
Hey, my fellow alien warriors, how’re doin? I pray that we all fall in line behind our Commander and Chief, Who Captains our army, following Him into battle every day.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You and my Captain; I follow YOU; I fight for YOU!! Amen