On Monday we talked about Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. I asked you whether you’d switched teams and told you how simple it is to accept Jesus’ free gift. Today we will talk about your spiritual condition prior to salvation. This will help you understand the war that’s going on in the heavens for all of our souls.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)
Satan is called a Prince! He rules over the sons of disobedience – anyone who is not saved. When we lived under Satan’s rule we were only concerned with our passions and desires. As a Christian, we still have those same passions and desires, but thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit (along with prayer, reading the Bible to understand God’s expectations, and accountability partners), we should work daily to be dead in our trespasses (sins). Yes, we mess up – and that’s when Satan will try to convince us that we can’t possibly be a Christian, or that God can’t possibly love us any more, or that we’re never going to be any good (or any other recurring bad thoughts you have when you’ve sinned). Remember though, as a child of God, you have been saved by grace and you are alive through Christ Jesus.
Most of us have what psychologists call bad tapes running constantly … “you won’t amount to anything” … “you’re so _______” … “no one will ever love you” … whatever those tapes are, they play a part in Satan’s ability to engage you in warfare. Take some time in the next couple days to assess the bad tapes running through your brain. Talk to Jesus about them. Ask Him to remove them and replace them with Scripture that will help you when Satan attacks (that’s why daily Bible reading is so important). On Monday we’ll talk about ways to arm ourselves against the schemes of Satan.