It blows me away how I can begin each day filled with the wonder, power and wisdom of God’s presence, and by the day’s end feel as if I’ve spent the day in a dirty street fight. It’s a great reminder that we are engaged in REAL warfare against enemies more powerful than what we can see. God’s Word says: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 ) While the world and Satan are our OUTSIDE enemies, we also have an enemy that lives INSIDE us–our flesh. The apostle Paul wrote of his brutal struggle with his own flesh: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:18-19) Our enemies are without AND within, which means we must be ever vigilant to maintain a close connection with God who is the ONLY One capable of defeating ALL of them. Jesus said: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It is not OUR might or determination which will defeat the enemy, it is the strength of the SPIRIT of God within us: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6) While we may start our day re-charging our soul with the presence of God, we must also vigilantly guard the gateways to our mind throughout the day lest the enemy infiltrate and gain a stronghold and place us in a situation where we’re fighting enemies within as well as without. The enemies that sneak inside our mind come in many forms–from subtle weapons like worry and fear and doubt to more obvious ones like degrading music or television, corrosive social media, bad company, etc. The stronger that the presence of God’s Spirit is within us, the louder the alert will sound about the presence of an enemy and the more quickly we will recognize and drive it away. God’s constant presence is our key to victory!