Two doctrines dominate my thinking this morning. One is an anthropological principle and the other is a spiritual dynamic and each can be summed up in a phrase but those phrases need to be 'unpacked' and put in Biblical context.
The doctrine of 'internal conspiracy' is the anthropological principle and oh how freeing it is to understand.
The spiritual dynamic is the 'grace adjustment'.
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which 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, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," - Ephesians 2:1-6 ESV
We know the Satanic strategy of tempt - accuse - condemn. That is an attack on our person that comes from outside but our flesh can wage a similar war. Our conscience should be our ally but it can become our bitter enemy. Like a city filled with unrest, the inhabitants can conspire to change the leadership and if they get desperate enough damage can be done to the infrastructure to make something (anything) happen.
If we have lived long enough all of us have seen people destroy themselves. Something external may have triggered a chain of decisions but the destruction came from within and as spectators, we may have tried to intervene but the conspiracy was an internal one.
If we ended here it would leave us in a hard place, wouldn't it? But it doesn't end here. There is the spiritual dynamic of adjusting to grace and with grace and it is beautiful beyond description.
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20 ESV
This principle is so freeing and it might take us losing everything first before we discover it because it lies just at the edge of our self-life. We can adjust because of grace. We can nail our old identity in a coffin where it belongs and start fresh. The accusation can be shut down. The ones that come from outside and the one that comes from the inside. We can face the music and adjust. We have victory in seeming defeat. We can go through things instead of avoiding them. We can adjust because our old identity died with Christ and our present identity is new and fresh.
Our soul becomes a city under new leadership. There may be a mess to clean up but if our conscience can adjust to the new value system of death, burial, resurrection, and session (the fact that we are seated above with Christ now as far as God is concerned) it can become our ally when it was once our adversary. Our soul can become a peaceful place to live.
Woe be it unto the soul that lets the internal conspiracy go unchecked. Eventually, the walls of that city will be breached and it's inhabitants taken away into captivity. No one can win that war themselves. God has given us a way of escape in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the negotiator we need to end our internal conspiracies.