The war against our souls is unrelenting. The enemy fights us at every turn, in every way – in physical, emotional, relational, mental, vocational, and financial ways. To fight this battle on our own is foolish at best, and tragic at worst.
As followers of Jesus Christ, where do we start? What are the first steps to victory? The answer may surprise you.
Not to the enemy of our souls, but to our Advocate – God – the One who is greater than the enemy, and is with us all the time.
But why surrender to God? Why not reading the Bible more, or doing more for God? Bible reading and activity are good things, but in the war against indwelling sin, they still reflect our heart of independence, wanting to win the victory on our own, without God’s help. If the enemy cannot beat us directly by causing us to sin, he attacks us more subtly, in our pride, and gets us sidetracked by doing good things for the wrong motives.
When we surrender to God, we invite Him in to every area of our life – physical, emotional, relational, mental, vocational, and financial. We invite Him in to shine the searchlight in the dark corners and locked rooms of our hearts, the basements, the attics, and the back of the closets where we stuff all the things we are ashamed of and are holding onto.
But the funny thing is, God knows all that junk in our lives already – it’s no surprise to Him. Listen to the words of David:
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
(Psalm 139:7-10 NIV)
Since God knows all about us, inside and out, already, and wants to free us from all the baggage and burden of indwelling sin, the best starting point is to surrender our independence and ask for His help. He then shows us what we need to get rid of and where we need help to crush the indwelling sin in our lives.
Listen to David’s words, as He invites God’s Holy Spirit to come in and do a full inspection:
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
(Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)
To whom are you serving today? Will you and I surrender and invite the Holy Spirit in for an inspection?
He wants to helps us win the war against indwelling sin, but we must invite Him in to get started.