The true battles of life are fought in a theater invisible to the human eye—the human mind. Although the status of that battle do appear as symptoms in external behavior, focusing exclusively on externals in this battle misses the crux of the matter.

The strategy of the attack is predictable. The strong desire resides within us. God always provides a means of satisfying that desire. The Enemy argues that God’s way is boring, old fashioned, foolish or deprives us of a right to which we are (and therefore should feel) entitled.

The key to victory is faith. Believing, trusting and obeying God–choosing His way each and every time!

Again, external symptoms do give some indication of the status of the internal battle; however, only God and the individual truly know how the battle is progressing. The line between being a “fruit inspector” and being judgmental is so fine that many of us avoid both. Sadly, some worthy soldiers fall in the battle because those around are afraid to stop the bleeding until it is too late.

Even more heartbreaking, many wounded soldiers fail to reveal internal wounds that they know are depleting their strength until it is too late. What a tragedy to bleed to death on the battlefield when God has provided an entire army of help!

Paul’s answer to this situation seems to be this: take a spiritual reality check and take it often. Be honest with yourself and with God. Look at the fruit of your life, the symptoms of the internal battle, and assess the state of your spiritual condition.

Do not engage the enemy alone! Once you have taken your spiritual reality check, stay plugged into the Community of Faith. If you’re wounded, ask for help before it is eternally too late. If you’re healthy, pick up the load of someone near you who is not as strong.