As one of His saints, God has predestined you to be conformed to the image of His Son. He wants you to be just like Jesus!
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 9:29 NKJV.
God began to create this image in your mind and heart when you were saved. As you grow in the knowledge of His Son, this image grows as well. It grows stronger and clearer, until you are just like Him in everything you say and do.
As you may have guessed, this is exactly what the enemy doesn’t want God to accomplish in your life. He opposes everything God does, and the last thing he wants is for you to be just like Jesus. As a result, he does everything he can to battle against the image of Christ in you. That battlefield is in your mind!
Concerning this warfare, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (imaginations). and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (word in parentheses mine.)
Although we walk in the flesh in our daily lives, we must be aware that our warfare is in the spiritual realm, not in the flesh. You cannot win spiritual battles through the flesh! You have to use the authority you have in Christ, by using the name of Jesus.
The enemy’s plan is to do everything he can to destroy the image of Christ in you, which you have through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who has given you the revelation of who you are in Christ, and of who Christ is in you. The devil tries to destroy this image in the realm of your imagination. He does this by creating an image of you contrary to what the Word of God says about you. If you are not careful to protect your imagination, he will actually develop demonic strongholds in your mind. The purpose of these strongholds is to completely destroy your ability to be fruitful in the Kingdom of God.
As a saint, God has called you to be fruitful in His kingdom. Jesus referred to this fruitfulness, when He said:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NKJV.
This ability to produce much fruit comes from knowing who you are in Christ, and who He is in you. This is the knowledge that the enemy is constantly trying to destroy, by planting thoughts in your mind. For whatever you picture in your imagination will soon filter down into your heart and control your whole life completely. This is the battle you face every day!
What did the Holy Spirit instruct you to do, in this passage of Scripture, when the enemy puts these false images into your mind? He told you to cast them down! You have the authority in the name of Jesus to do that, and you can bring every thought captive into the obedience of Christ.
For example, this means that whenever the devil puts a thought into your mind that you are going to fail, you need to say, “That is not true, for the Word of God says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'” (see Philippians 4:13). By doing this, you can resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The Apostle James wrote:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee for you.” James
Yes, the devil will flee from you, when you exercise the authority you have in the name of Jesus. No where in the Bible do you read that God told you to ask Him to resist the devil, instead you must do the resisting. You are the one who must stand against the devil!
In conclusion, learn to always focus on the image of who you are in Christ, and who Christ is in you. This is how you grow in the knowledge of God, and this is how you live a fruitful life of victory over the enemy.
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture references are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc, unless otherwise noted]