“Our Own Worst Enemy”

BIBLE READING: Matthew 15, Mark 7
                Every since I was a child, I remember being taught that the Devil was our enemy.  After all, the Devil is the antithesis of everything that is good.  However, there is another enemy that we as Christians should be aware of in this world.  This enemy may not have the power that the Devil has against us, but it does have the opportunity.  In fact, this enemy is always closer than you might want to think.  In Mark 7, Jesus wants to clarify to the people what it is that defiles a person.  Contrary to what they might have thought, it isn’t what goes into the body that defiles it, but that which comes out of the body. Notice what Jesus said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (Mark 7:20-23).  If we take Jesus at face value in this statement, it seems that the greatest enemy we face is ourselves.  Think about it; before sin is ever committed it originates in our heart before it comes out in our actions.  James said it this way, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” (James 1:14-16).   These desires, lusts and feelings all begin within our heart.  No wonder Solomon wrote “Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).  So yes, we must be concerned about our enemy the Devil, but we also cannot afford to overlook the other powerful foe that comes from within.
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