PASTOR'S PEN: My arch enemy

If you look through the pages of history, you will find many kings and political leaders brought down by friends and family. This is why you find paranoid historical heads killing off their entire family so no one would attempt to take their throne or power. They knew there were enemies out there and they were determined that none would defeat them.

World powers change over time. We see the results on the outside, but there are many times those defeats originated inside. One leader may have thought his country too big to be overtaken. Another exerts overreaching dominion on his people. And others are simple looking for enemies in one direction while they are attacked from another.

Each of us also has an enemy, a great enemy. But we tend to look in the wrong places for that enemy. We recognize that we are to follow Christ and be like Him, yet we struggle with that so many times. So we do what people have been doing since Adam — blame someone else. We blame our parents or the way we were raised. We didn't have enough love, opportunity or discipline. Our parents set a poor example and we simple followed.

We blame society. It's the president's fault, the state, the liberals or the street where I grew up. My school allowed too much sin influence or was to strict causing me to rebel. I surrounded by gangs or racists or bad friends.

We blame Satan and his demons. The devil made me do it. I was overcome by the demon of whatever my issue may be. If only Satan would stop tempting me or this demon would no longer torment me.

We even blame God. I was born this way. It's how I am. If God didn't allow this to happen, I would be a better person.

But all of those are smoke screens to the reality of our greatest enemy. The toughest, most determined, most powerful and resistant enemy is the one you look at in the mirror each day. You are your own worst enemy. James 1:13-14 tells us this:

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed..."

You have within you evil desires. They seek to draw you from God and holy, righteous living. They tempt you and drag you into sin. This is why the great apostle Paul even said, "What a wretched man I am!" (Romans 7:24).

So when you think of the great spiritual battle you have before you today, don't blame others, look to yourself. For if you can gain victory over the person you see in the mirror each day, all other conflict will seem no more difficult than riding a bike.