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There’s no such thing as unopposed spiritual progress

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Here’s something I believe that a lot of people find controversial in this modern age: You have an enemy who hates you. If God’s dream is to see you free, then your enemy’s goal is to keep you in bondage.   The idea of personal evil is evident throughout the Bible, but it seems most Evan…
By Seth Barnes
Here’s something I believe that a lot of people find controversial in this modern age: You have an enemy who hates you. If God’s dream is to see you free, then your enemy’s goal is to keep you in bondage.
 
The idea of personal evil is evident throughout the Bible, but it seems most Evangelicals are fairly ignorant on the subject and have little practical experience fighting their enemy. I, for one, grew up scared of the devil and clueless about spiritual warfare.
 
I don’t know where you are, but if I want to grow spiritually, I really seem to struggle. It just goes with the territory. And apparently, this condition is fairly universal. Paul, for example, laments the weakness of his flesh and calls himself “wretched.” (Romans 7:24)
 
Say what you want, but I believe this universal sense of frustration owes in large part to the fact that there’s no such thing as unopposed spiritual progress. The flesh is weak and the enemy of my soul is trying to take me out. And he wants to do the same to you.
 
This manifests in a hundred different ways: I write about fasting, but I haven’t fasted in a while. I know I need to pray more, yet Facebook is more fun. I want to love people who frustrate me, but it’s easier to do something else.
 
All of which should encourage us to approach the topic of personal spiritual formation with some sobriety.
 
When was the last time you determined to grow spiritually? If you struggle, why is that the case?

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