“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
The word “which” connotes quality – of the kind which; which are of such a nature as to. These lusts carry the quality of aggression. They war against the soul. They take the offense in war on our soul. Lusts are not latent but dynamically active.
Lusts are aggressive and take the initiative against our soul.
If lusts war against our soul, our soul should war against them. Sin weakens and debilitates the soul by assaulting its faculties. Sin wages war against the Christian’s true values.
Those serving in the army of the Lord Jesus must take note that the Devil places fleshly lusts in our lives to defeat us on the battlefield of daily Christian living. These fleshly lusts are part of the strategy of the military campaign of the Devil to destroy the believer. These lusts perform the office of a soldier. Lusts have the discipline to destroy us.
If it means a subtle withdrawal to ultimately defeat us, the Devil will strategically withdraw lust to come back at a more vulnerable time. He will withdraw lusts and we think the battle is over. “We sure got the victory there.” This leaves us vulnerable to greater assault and more significant defeat.
We are up against a mighty strategist. The lusts of Satan are at his command. His tactics are beyond human resources to combat. We must leave the strategy to General Jesus. We are not on familiar territory. We are waging war on the Devil’s domain. The Devil knows the mountains, valleys, and plains of the territory on which we are fighting. He has the advantage if we meet him on his own terms.