Don’t Be Defeated By These Crafty Enemies of Your Soul

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

The enemies of your soul are crafty and subtle. This is proven by your unrecognized complicity. Your strong fortress has already been infiltrated while you relax on the front porch, sipping your sweet tea. Again and again you shoot yourself in your spiritual foot yet remain numb to the pain. You are involved in your own downfall and don’t realize it. However, victory begins when you see what is out to get you. Identifying the enemy’s tactics is a necessary place to begin. 

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Examine yourself and see if you are cooperating with any of these tactics of the enemy operating in and around you.  

  1. Preoccupation with matters such as politics, material possessions, sports, food, health, and lodging. 
  2. Possessing thoughts contrary to God’s thoughts. 
  3. Holding beliefs about God which contradict His nature and His Word, Jesus Christ. 
  4. Allowing inner negative passions (anger, gluttony, pride, dejection, vainglory, etc.) to control your heart and thoughts. 
  5. Surrounding yourself with people who are spiritually “safe” and who don’t challenge you to move deeper with God. 
  6. Perceiving struggle as an occasion for problem solving instead of personal transformation. 
  7. Following ministry leaders whose primary concern is your theology, beliefs, morality, or church attendance but not your prayer life. 
  8. Desiring more money, security, comfort, and acceptance by others.
  9. Seeing creation as purely material and utilitarian rather than as the means of God manifesting Himself. 
  10. Being controlled by thoughts about the past and about the future.
  11. Tolerating a church culture that pays little attention to your ongoing relationship with God yet wants you to get involved in ministry. 
  12. Interpreting the Bible for yourself so you can manipulate it to your own satisfaction.
  13. Talking too much and listening too little. 
  14. Immersing yourself in sound, talk, noise, or visual stimuli while ignoring silence and solitude. 
  15. Being satisfied with knowing about God and not being desperate enough to devote yourself to actually knowing God.
  16. Finding a church that suits you instead of a church that challenges your self-centeredness, self-expression, and self-righteousness.  
  17. Developing your own spiritual formation strategy rather than learning obedience through the time-tested, simple practices of the Church and her saints. 

Remember the man who asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He had done what he thought was necessary. Yet, Jesus challenged him to address one enemy of his soul – his preoccupation with his wealth. Sadly, he was unwilling to do what Jesus said. Don’t be like him. Seriously consider what tactic(s) you are allowing to keep your soul from flourishing. 

You know how I can identify these so readily? I’ve personally wrestled with each one of them. I’m really identifying the enemies of my own soul.

Which of these are active in your life? Which one is most prevalent? Having identified it, begin battling the enemy in prayer. Ask God what He would have you do in light of this issue, pleading for His mercy in it. 

Share any thoughts about this below. 

Dr. K