Soul-diers - the war for our souls (I Peter 2:11 and James1:21)

I believe that the Enemy of our souls would like to lull us into thinking that, once we are "saved"/"born again"/"receive Christ", that the battle is over.  He does a great job at his masterful deception and many of us live blindly unaware of the war against our souls.  Now don't hear what I am NOT saying -- once we enter into a personal relationship with Christ, that is permanent.  Nothing or no one can undo what Jesus did in adopting us as His own.  The eternal security of the believer (the true believer) is confidently complete.

But that's not what I am talking about.  I am talking about the attack on our souls - our minds, emotions and wills - that often leaves us depressed, frustrated, powerless, and perplexed.  We know that we are supposed to be joyful and peaceful and live a life of consistent triumph over sin.  And yet, as we look in the mirror, we often see little difference in our life and that of the NONbeliever.  We don't know why that is so but we resolve to try a little harder, do a little better, and hope that next week and next month and next year will be a little better.


What's the deal?

Here's a clue from Scripture -- I Peter 2:11 says "Brethren, I urge you, as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul."

I get from this
1.  Remember that this world isn't my home.I should expect to feel out of place (as in an alien!) when looking to temporal things to fulfill me. Things that nonbelievers find joy in, even good things, can often leave me dissatisfied or disappointed. 
2.  What are "fleshly lusts"?  Not only what you might think.  While  indulging in pornography certainly qualifies as "fleshly lust", by no means is it the only thing.  "Fleshly" applies to whatever satisfies something other than my spirit.  It might be physical appetite as in food/drink or for comfort.  Or an emotional yearning such as for praise or attention or achievement.
"Lust" is exactly what you think -- a longing for, a strong desire that causes us to set our heart on it.
3.  So, if we don't stay away from these things, our soul will be under attack.  In turmoil.  Frustrated, unhappy, not at peace, empty-feeling.  And James 4:1 adds that the attempt to satisfy these lusts will not only leave our own souls out of sorts but it will also inevitably lead to stresses in our relationships with others. Conflicts and quarrels when those lusts - uh, "expectations", aren't satisfied. Oh yes. 

OK, so we are to abstain from these fleshly lusts so as to avoid the perils of attack.  But how? James 1:21 provides the antidote.  "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility, receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls."
1.  Cease from anything we know to be wrong.  Period. If something - some activity or pursuit popped into your head just now, that very well may be God's quiet voice urging you to cease.
2.  Humble ourselves - ask for God's help, realize our propensity to fall, recognize our constant need for His grace in order to obey Him.
3.  Receive the word implanted.  Major point.  God's Word,  We need to feast on it regularly and obey what it says.  It will save - as in deliver, restore, repair, protect - our souls.

Suggestions for implementation -- Be careful what you look at, listen to, and set your heart on.  Music, media, mentors.  Be careful.
Find a plan that will get God's Word into your life daily.
Commune with folks who are growing in their pursuit of Him. Be accountable to someone who is willing to hold you accountable.
Serve others.  Consistently.
Make right the things that are wrong.  Relationships, decisions, etc. Humble yourself.
Wait on Him. Confidently.  He wants you to win the war for your sould even more than you want to.  (Where do you think the idea and the desire came from anyway :) )