The Three Enemies
In conventional warfare the enemy is always someone else--a person. This type of adversary is obvious and direct. In unseen warfare the enemies are elusive and invisible. The enemies we encounter in the spiritual life are identified as: 1. the world, 2. the flesh and 3. the devil. This is revealed to us in the Gospels when Christ goes into the desert and experiences temptation. This is also identified by St. Paul:
“You once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh”
--St. Paul of Tarsus
These enemies are part corporeal (physical or bodily) and part incorporeal (invisible or bodiless). This makes fighting these enemies particularly challenging. Adding to the challenge is theater or arena that we live in. The spirit of the age and culture we live in is exceedingly counter conducive for victory. In recent times, the modern culture and worldview rapidly shifted from one that encouraged and upheld virtues, values and morals to an age that wallows in love of these three enemies of the soul. The world and all things worldly are held with utmost esteem, the flesh and all forms of comfort and pleasure are encouraged, praised and sought after at any cost, and the devil--he is the prince of it all.