THE WAR AGAINST YOUR SOUL.- {1 Peter 2:11}

{It’s About The Way You Live –}
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of  visitation.”-{1 Peter 2:11-13}
 
Did you know, as a follower of Christ that you are in a “war?” No, maybe not a “war” where you can see or hear bullets flying, guns, tanks, bombs, destruction, but you are in a Spiritual war, and you don’t want to be ignorant or ignore the fact…Peter says, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against Your soul.”-{1 Peter 2:11}. The Christian is in a war- a Spiritual War, on two fronts, as 1 Peter shows, the attack from WITHOUT- others attacking the Christian as we read in 1 Peter 1, the believers were Scattered” in different locations -{1:1}; Suffering great distress- {1:6}; Slandered –{2:12}. In a society of 60 million slaves who by law had no rights and were considered things and not people. They were slandered as “evildoers.”- {2:12}. And as a result they deserved to be severely punished. “Evildoers,” was a word of contempt and means “Criminal.” Also we see in v 11, the Spiritual War is WITHIN. So a two prong attack… WITHOUT and WITHIN!
 
In the midst of this we see certain things for them to REMEMBER in the midst of this SPIRITUAL WAR!
 
1. -REMEMBER – GOD LOVES YOU. He reminds them that they are “Beloved,” a term he uses 8 times in both epistles. In the fight, it is good to begin with God and be reminded of God’s heart and attitude towards you. You are Loved!
 
2. -REMEMBER- THIS WORLD IS NOT YOUR HOME! You are passing through. He uses two terms to remind them, aliens which came to mean a foreigner, someone who was in a land that was not theirs. Andstrangers which speaks of someone who is passing through. Combined, they speak of someone who is a foreigner, not from this place, temporary here on their way to somewhere else! They are not residents, this is not their home! “Our citizenship is in Heaven!”-{Phil 3:20}.
 
3. -REMEMBER – YOU ARE IN A “SPIRITUAL WAR!” It is a two part “War,” there is the external, such as the suffering and slandering they were experiencing in Peter’s day, which comes from WITHOUT… but there is also a WAR which comes from…WITHIN. “…Which wage WAR against your soul.” The term “wage war,” is not a shot fired across the bow, but a military term that speaks of a military campaign, it’s not a one day battle but a life time campaign. The idea here is that it is these “fleshly lusts” are personified! 
 
AND WHAT IS THE TARGET OF THIS “…WAR?”  “Soul” speaks of your person. And the weapons are “fleshly lusts.” “Lusts” is often thought of meaning a sexual desire. The word speaks of strong desires, passions, not necessarily evil. It depends on the context, and in this verse it is speaking of evil lusts. It is speaking of “strong cravings of our depraved flesh, self.  Paul also spoke of the REALITY of this “war” for the Christian when he wrote, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other…” -{Gal 5:17}. James spoke of this war also “ but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.-{James 1:14-15}. Peter, Paul and James testify that the follower of Christ is in a  spiritual war, and the weapons against them are “fleshly lusts that wage war against the soul.” 
These “lusts” can be varied, sexual, the lust for revenge, power, prestige, materialism, a multitude of various types. Some of these “lusts of the flesh” can be seen in Galatians 5:19-21 such as “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies,…” And the world system, “ Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”-{1 John 2:15-16}.
 
“Lusts” are the evil missiles that are fired towards your mind to attack and bring you down. It is imperative we capture each thought and arrest it and do not allow it to have access where it influences towards evil and sin against God. There is still that within us that the evil one, the world system can appeal to within us. Our soul is eternally safe “kept. protected” by the power of God! – {Read 1 Peter 1:4-5}. We use His Word as our “shield” against these “fiery” thoughts. When JESUS was tempted, He responded, “It is written, it is written, it is written….”-{Matt 4;4,7,10}. He used the Word of God, so must you and I! We must know and learn how to apply the Truth versus the lies, deception, condemnation, seduction, that the evil one, using the world system, others, to entice us to sin, seeking to entangle us with the cares of this world in order to attempt to divorce us from being about the Kingdom Business of the LORD Jesus. 
We must remember that we  are no longer slaves, under the control of sin, though we still have the capacity to sin, it no longer dominates us. We are no longer under sin’s control, we have the capacity and choice to reject and say “no” to it, thanks to the power of the Spirit of God within us!  We sin not because we are under sin’s ultimate power and control but because we choose to sin! Jesus has set us free from the power and penalty of sin. We are not perfected, that happens when we see Him, Glorification. But we have power the Spirit of God within us to resist sin as a ruling force in our lives as we are free to serve God, not sin!-{Read Phil 2:13; Gal 5:1; John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 1:3-4}
 
This “war” is relentless, comes in various temptations, bombardments upon your senses, subtle at times, ferocious at other times, and this spiritual war is for the rest of your life! Understand that, don’t be surprised, or be discouraged…
 
But…
4. -REMEMBER- YOU HAVE VICTORY! It is not by “letting go and letting God,” being passive, but being VIGILANT and He says ABSTAIN.” The word means to keep away, distance yourself from, put distance between you and a thing, “STAY AWAY from fleshly evil lusts…”
Don’t be like a fish seeing something shining, attractive in the water, goes after it and only to discover after biting on it that there is a hook inside the Lure, Bait, which is purposely there to catch and destroy! So too, in the spiritual realm, these “lusts” have a Demonic purpose, to seek to catch, control and destroy you!STAY AWAY FROM FLESHLY LUSTS… that seek to Destroy you, DISHONOR God! Be on the alert!
RECOGNIZE these “lusts,” REJECT their appeals, and REMEMBER, and Know You have the POWER within, the Spirit of God to strengthen you, give you wisdom to counteract the destructive “lures, baits” of lustful attractions!!-{Read Phil 2:13.} “God has given us everything pertaining to life and Godliness…” How? “He has given us precious and magnificent Promises.”- {Read 2 Peter 1:3-4}. We have His Word. We have access to God through Prayer. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ….”-{2 Cor 10:4-5}. We have His Word, Power and prayer,  “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” – “ABSTAIN.”
 
ABSTAIN” because the LORD LOVES you.
ABSTAIN because this is not your Home, you are an Ambassadors of Christ in this world, passing through.
ABSTAIN Because you are In a Spiritual war and it is evil and vicious and full of hatred against you because of the LORD.
ABSTAIN Because God has given you the Power and in light of your Privileges {Read 1 Peter 1:3-5} ABSTAIN!!
 
Don’t FORGET to REMEMBER in the Midst of the Spiritual War you are in…
REMEMBER God LOVES You. Think on that and what He did to demonstrate it {Read Rom 5:8?; Eph 2:1-5}?}. Times are tough, difficult, THINK Much and Often on God’s Love for you!
REMEMBER, this world is not your home. You are His Ambassador, representing Him and heading Home to be with the LORD Jesus! Don’t live like a resident live as an alien and stranger!
REMEMBER you are in a Spiritual WAR for your soul, not to take your salvation but to seek to trip you up and sin.
REMEMBER you have the capacity and power to resist these temptations, the relentless and deceptive attack upon your soul! “ABSTAIN” –
God bless and richly encourage you….