The Internal War

March 15, 2010 at 9:20 am | Posted in Genesis, Luke | 10 Comments
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Abraham was 85 years old. He had been walking with the Lord for 10 years. Abraham had not been perfect. He was still learning about faith, but he was in an unbreakable covenant with God.

God’s promise that Abraham and Sarah would have a child began to seem too long in its fulfillment. So, they did the opposite of exercising faith: they schemed (Genesis 16:1-4). This scheme involved Abraham conceiving a child with Sarah’s slave, Hagar, and it was a sinful scheme. Why was it sinful? Because whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

The child which Hagar conceived was named Ishmael. He was Abraham’s only child for 13 years, until God fulfilled His covenant promise with Abraham, and gave him a child by Sarah. This child was named Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3). Ishmael and Isaac could never co-exist peacefully, for God preordained them to be forerunners of the two types of men who can never get along, and are always at war with each other, even unto this day. Ishmael represents the man of flesh, born of faithlessness and sin, who can never change. Isaac represents the second birth – the spiritual “rebirth,” which is born of faith. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6; Galatians 4:29).

These two “men,” or “natures,” are at war with each other within each and every man, woman, and child who has trusted Jesus Christ as his/her Savior. The descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac are at war with each other in the Middle East today, and they will continue until Christ Himself puts a stop to it. In the mortal bodies of Christians, the flesh-man and the Spirit-man war, as well. The flesh may be, to some extent, disciplined, controlled, and even mortified (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5), but it will never be changed. If you are a Christian, which man will win the war in your body – the flesh-man or the Spirit-man? The obvious answer is: whichever is stronger. But, which is the stronger? The answer to that is: the one which you feed the most. Make sure you are feasting daily on the spirit-strengthening, life-giving bread of the Word of God.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Luke 4:4

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  1. […] Lord – and remember Him – we must also be in a constant effort to fortify the spirit man for battle against the flesh man. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against […]

  2. […] took a third wife from Uncle Ishmael’s […]

  3. […] was probably about 17 – why was a 17 year old mocking a 3 year old? Ishmael is a picture of the first birth – born of flesh. Hagar is a picture of the Law. Sarah is a […]

  4. […] is a war going on between two natures. This is a description of our sin nature: The heart is deceitful above […]

  5. […] The world opposes Christians because there are two spiritual families that are at war with each other. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after […]

  6. […] had done a number of times before in showing favor to the younger over the elder: Abel over Cain; Isaac over Ishmael; Jacob over Esau; Joseph over Reuben; Rachel over Leah; Zarah and Pharez (Judah’s sons by Tamar). […]

  7. […] Announces the Great “I WILL” Getting a Lot Out of the World “Aman” of Faith The Internal War The Top Story in Sodom As Good as Dead Tested Faith Is Strong Faith Abraham and Isaac Receiving […]

  8. […] maintain the purity of the bloodline of the coming Messiah. The promised redeemer would have to be a descendant of Abraham in order to fulfill God’s […]

  9. […] old man and the lusts thereof, and putting on the righteousness of Christ so we look like Him and not like our old selves any […]

  10. […] was not, strictly speaking, Abraham’s “only” son, yet He was the son of promise – […]


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