TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, February 13, 2020:
A fight; a hostile encounter between opposing forces; struggle.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Each and every day we hear and perhaps even witness battles taking place. We can’t turn on the news without hearing about a battle somewhere between two warring factions. It could be on the streets of your city between two people or two groups. We hear of battles in the Middle East daily. In a battle both sides think they are right but sadly people on both sides suffer and often many die.
Today we want to talk about the battles we face personally in our own lives. We constantly are fighting battles in our mind between right and wrong. We often want to do something or go somewhere but something inside of us says that we should not. Thus the battle begins.
In Exodus 17, we read about a battle, symbolic of the Christian’s battle with the flesh today. The battle against the sin of the flesh is always startling to a new Christian. They have experienced the emotional and spiritual high of discovering their new faith in Christ.
And suddenly temptation pops up its ugly head and we wonder, “What happened?” This is the situation that the Children of Israel faced in Exodus 17. They had just experienced the glory of the Passover, the miracle of the Red Sea crossing, and the demonstration of God’s Fatherly love for them as He provided all of the manna needed to eat.
Life was going so good for the Children of Israel. They had been chosen by God to represent Him to the world. God was meeting their every need but soon a shocking realization confronted them. Those who belong to God have enemies. They were soon to learn that the sinful state of our fallen world requires believers to fight battles.
In Exodus 17:10 we read that Amalek attacked Israel. The Amalekites were a pagan and evil nomadic tribe. They attacked and killed others for pleasure and carried off their possessions. They saw the Israelites as an opportunity for pleasure and profit. What they did not see was that to battle against Israel they would be doing battle against God. Israel obeyed God and fought the battle according to His instructions, and because they obeyed, God gave Israel the victory.
In the verse above from Galatians, we read what the Apostle Paul tells us about the nature of the battle that constantly takes place in our lives as believers. Basically, our sinful nature often desires what is contrary to God’s Holy Spirit, and the Spirit desires for us what is contrary to our sinful nature. Thus the battle is in our inner being between God and our sinful desires.
After God gave the Israelites victory over the Amalekites Moses warned that “the Lord would be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” Exodus 18:15. The same is true for each of us who are believers in Jesus. We will be continually at war with sin. We live in an evil and sinful world and we must daily prepare ourselves to be spiritually ready to fight the desires of our flesh which are contrary to God’s will for us.
God also promised to completely destroy the Amalekites. Although God gave the Amalekites years to repent they continued to raid and plunder the cities of Israel but ultimately the remnant of the Amalekites were finally destroyed
God has given us His Holy Spirit to fight our battles and will make us victorious if we will just let go of our fleshly desires and do as the Holy Spirit leads us to do.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Joshua 1:6.
Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Give me the strength today to fight the fleshly battles that come my way and give me victory over my evil desires. May I learn to rely on Your Holy Spirit to guide me and keep me on the path that leads to righteousness.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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