Years ago there was a comic strip written by Walt Kelly whose main character, ‘Pogo’ introduced us to a phrase that so captured man’s humanity that it has become a main stay in pop culture. In the cartoon ‘Pogo’ stands looking at his self in a full-length mirror, while the caption above his reflection reads, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” The reason why this resonates with so many of us is painfully obvious; we really can be our own worst enemy.
Live long enough and you will be amazed at the number of times you will find yourself looking at your reflection and feeling what Pogo felt. Stand there too many times and you will begin to realize that your life is not quite turning out like you imagined it would. It is at these times in which you would like to trade your present life in for a new one. If the concept of a ‘do over’ seems a bit farfetched then I have some good news for you. Receiving a ’new life’ is exactly what happens when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. When we come to the realization that no one is to blame for the condition our life is in but ourselves is when our search for someone to save us really begins. Hearing our cry Jesus comes and standing at the door of our heart he gently knocks. If our heart is receptive to his knocking we will ask him into our lives. The only answer for finding the life we are meant to live is when we realize the futility found in seeking that life under our own strength and power. This however, is probably not the first time we have found ourselves at this juncture in our life. We need to realize that every time we say ‘NO’ to Jesus our heart becomes hardened till we no longer can hear His knocking nor care for what He is offering us.
Looking into the mirror and really seeing yourself for who you are can be a sobering experience. It is at those times that we are susceptible to masking ourselves with alcohol, drugs, sex or any myriad of things that block us from seeing, for a time, what we don’t want to see. It’s not that this is what we originally planned for our lives. Who really starts out in life wanting to be lost in drugs, addictions or in sexual encounters that degrade you as a person? Proverbs 14:12 There is a pathway that seems right to a man, but in the end it’s a road to death.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:18-20 about that ‘pathway that seems right to man’. “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 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 nothing good lives 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 what I do is not 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.” NIV
The Road Of Life
Paul’s words above are an accurate description of what we see when we look into the mirror and see ourselves for who we are and where we are going. However there is another path, a path that gives us the opportunity to not only have the desire to do what is good but the ability to do what is good and right. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 8:12-17, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Without the Holy Spirit within us we are not able to overcome the urges and situations that are before us. With our new life in Jesus we find that we are no longer slaves to the old ways but are continually led by the Spirit of God. To understand the struggle that rages within we need to understand what happened to the old kingdom that we once were slaves to and the king who used to reign over us. Most of us fail to recognize that we spent years building up a kingdom unto ourselves. We may not have realized it but in reality we were the king and we ruled over the kingdom of ‘self’. You could say we were a self-made king and we demanded the respect that we felt we deserved.
The Road To The Abundant Life
The questions then is, ‘Why is it that even after receiving Christ as our Savior do we find ourselves battling with our old nature?’ Our character under the old life was flawed and in need of a serious overhaul. When we accepted Jesus into our life he came with a dual purpose, that of becoming our Lord and Savior. As Savior he rescued us and brought us into the Kingdom of God, as Lord he is disciplining us in how we are to live and act in this new Kingdom.
If we have not prayed aloud in heartfelt repentance to forgive others and to renounce the old habits, sins, and ways of thinking through the power and authority of Jesus Christ that were a part of our old nature we will find ourselves continually struggling with those old habits. Praying like this frees us from those demonic bondage’s and spirits that influenced us. It is of crucial importance that we be baptized in both water and in the Holy Spirit. To be disciples also means we are to be grounded in His Word so that we can understand and follow His precepts as we give ourselves to His will daily. We must choose to forgive quickly and not take on offenses as this is His command to keep us safe from the influences of the enemy and to ensure that we live in the abundant life He has destined for each of us.
We need to choose to allow God to replace the ungodly strongholds and fleshly habits with Godly ones as we are being transformed and sanctified through the power of the Holy Spirit. Worshipping our Lord in Spirit and in truth will “crowd” out the enemy from our lives and the civil war that we are fighting within is replaced with the presence and anointing of God who fills us with His peace, joy, and love, giving us a new identity as His beloved sons/daughters.
James, 4:7-10, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
We are over-comers through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony! May we give Him all glory and honor as our King and Savior! Our prayer is for the Holy Spirit to fill each of you afresh with His great love and power. Especially during this autumn season with so much occult influence all around us. Keep safe and be aware!