“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
2 Corinthians 10:3–6
The outward temptations of sin seeks to bring our inward focus and attention away from Jesus Christ and onto ourselves. Pride is one of our biggest enemies and is the foundation of all sin. The stronghold of pride becomes erected in our minds when we stop giving glory to God and begin to glorify ourselves believing what we accomplish is that of our own doing without the help of the Holy Spirit. Satan’s ploy is to captivate our minds away from the Faith, Hope, and Love of Jesus Christ and His Spirit and onto our own flesh that feeds our ego. As Jesus and His Sanctifying Spirit works from within to produce the outward effects of righteousness, the devil uses carnality and deception of outward temptations to lure the Child of God away from humility into the pride of the flesh and lust of the eyes. Salvation begins the process of our Sanctification, but the devil seeks to halt our Sanctification by deceiving our minds into believing he can take away our Salvation.
The battles we endure daily are not that of trying to fight for our Salvation. Jesus Christ won that war for us on the Cross. He continues to win that war for us if our Faith remains anchored in the Cross and the Power in His Blood. What we do fight for is our transformation into the Image of Christ. The devil knows if He can bring our transformation to a standstill, it is only a matter of time before He can draw us back into our old sinful patterns of pride and our glorifying of self. It is at the Cross where we become emptied out of all things relating to pride and self to receive the fullness of God in Christ. The Cross demands humbleness and humility before the Lord. Jesus did not bear our goodness on the Cross. He bore our pride, arrogance, shame, and guilt caused by the power of sin. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). With the pride, lusts, and affections of our flesh crucified with Christ, the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–21) can begin to come alive and blossom within our hearts allowing us to live and walk freely in the Spirit of God.
After all, what do sin and pride have in common? The middle letter “I” is at the center of them both. The only “I” we need to draw our attention to is the “I” in Christ. When we move our “I” from sin and pride and place it in Christ alone, our lives become hidden in His Holy Perfection where we set our affections on the things above and not on the things of this world.