Conquering the adversary of our life does not depend upon the circumstances we face but how we face the circumstances. In a world created by man’s fantasies and imaginations, man often believes he controls the events of his life. God still rules every action of the universe (Rom. 11:33-16), but in the make believe world of his mind man thinks he is in control. His own imagination becomes the great adversary to the ways of God. The ultimate adversary in every man’s life is always the carnal mind, the mind out from under the control of the Holy Spirit.
For example, Paul experienced the good life behind the doors of prison. The secret of Paul being able to say, “. . . I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11) is found in the simple truth of the essence of life. Is the contented life determined by the flesh and blood reality of the physical world, including the trying circumstances of the perils of Paul? Or, does the contented life originate in the spiritual realm of man’s inner being, regardless of the physical circumstances in which one might find himself? What makes the quality of life good?
Conquering the adversary was understood by Jesus and his disciples.
The early followers of Jesus knew the enemy that could destroy their peace, their joy, and their sense of justice would never come from without, from the actual circumstances they were experiencing. The temptation to corruption that could destroy them would always come from within their own thinking. They knew the mind, when out from under the control of the Holy Spirit, was the adversary that brings death and destruction to the soul of man. They understood that conquering the adversary was found in the controlling of their mind by Jesus.
Peter closed his writings with the this warning: “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary . . .” seeks to intoxicate you to destroy your soul. In other words, once the mind begins to escalate its worrisome thoughts of a current problem, the soul becomes intoxicated with its own created anxiety. The mind runs out of control and “sleep won’t come the whole night through.” Instead of living in the peace and rest of a sound mind controlled by the Holy Spirit, the soul is being devoured by the runaway imaginations of its own thinking.
Paul also knew of the destructiveness of the mind. Standing among some people that were steeped in religious activities, he said, “. . . I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious” (Acts 17:22). Their zeal to be religious had led them into meaningless beliefs and practices that carried no godly significance. The imaginations of their mind had created all kinds of religious activities that were actually carrying them away from God. The practices ot these people were more in line with occult practices than the ways of God.
Conquering the adversay in life is found only In Jesus.
Satanic activity, the forces of the adversary to God, always comes from the inner working of the mind of man. As Paul warned the Philippians, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Phil. 3:18,19). The glory of man (the intellectual power of the mind under control of the Holy Spirit) becomes the shame of man (the power of the carnal mind now taking man down and away from God with every thought).
Conquering the adversary of your life is found only in your mind being controlled by Jesus. James wrote, concerning the conquering of the adversary in your life, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Go to Jesus, he knows how to conquer the enemy of your peace, rest, and serrenity.