If you are a Christian, you are at war.
The battle is one with eternal consequences. You wage war not against mere humans but against powerful forces of evil in a realm that you cannot see. There is an unholy trinity – the world, your flesh, and the devil – which seeks to plunge your soul into ruin and destruction.
This unholy trinity speaks the ancient language of lies, taking orders from the “Father of Lies”. Their objective is to pierce your spirit with an array of arrows set ablaze by the fires of Hell.
And many of us are being slaughtered.
John Owen, a theologian from the 17th century, put it this way – “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.” Owen was not the first person to express this idea. He is simply paraphrasing what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:13, “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.”
There is NO alternative. Either you are being crushed and sacrificed over the demonic altar of sin, or you are brutally murdering the fleshly impulses which reside inside you.
When it comes to our faith, it is either kill or be killed. Choosing to do nothing is offering up your entire being to Satan who promises to steal, kill, and destroy EVERYTHING you are and have.
The Battle Begins in Your Mind
Paul is describing this war to a church in Corinth and he instructs them to take EVERY thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Either YOU will rule over your thoughts or your thoughts will rule over you.
“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” – Colossians 3:2
Practically, this can only be done by immersing your mind in Scripture. Throughout Paul’s writings we can see that this process must be intentional. Hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, we need to CAPTURE every thought and SET our mind on the things of God.
You Need to Starve Your Sinful Nature
So often we forget how deceitful our hearts are. We entertain thoughts of pride, lust, envy, jealousy, and greed. In essence, we are encouraging the beast which resides within us to feast upon the members of our body. Whether it is through looking at certain images or going to specific places, you CANNOT feed your flesh and expect to live victoriously over sin.
We MUST destroy our sinful nature by subduing it under discipline, ripping its demonic food from its mouth, and starving it by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not optional if you are a Christian. You literally cannot afford to NOT do it.
Much can be said on this topic but knowledge only matters if there is application. I want to exhort you to take every thought captive and hold it accountable to the standard laid out in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”
Ask yourself the following questions EVERY time a thought comes into you mind:
- Is it true?
- Is it worthy of honor?
- Does it bring justice to those who are hurting?
- Is it pure of all fleshly contamination?
- Does it reflect the beauty of Christ?
- Would I be able to commend this thought to my friends and church?
Memorize and meditate over Philippians 4:8. Let it soak into your entire being. This battle is far too costly to take lightly.
Friends, be killing sin or sin will be killing you.