I’ve come to the conclusion that the saying, “Sometimes we are our own worst enemy,” is true. Don’t know about you but I battle inclinations, impulses, desires, and thoughts on occasion that are anything but pleasing to God. They’re evil inclinations! destructive impulses! sinful desires and alarming thoughts! They just rise up from within my mind and heart and I have to do battle with them… and I’m a Christian – I’ve dedicated my life to following Jesus and have experienced the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit! There, the truth is out! I acknowledge it!
Do you ever battle this stuff?
This morning during “coffee with the Lord” I read a helpful word of caution… (Note: I’ve included a few personal observations in brackets 🙂
“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ [because that’s what we truly are as Christians – heaven is our ‘real’ home] to keep away from worldly desire [literally ‘fleshly desires’ – in other words the desires and inclinations of our natural self under the control of sin] that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” (1 Peter 2:11–12 NLT)
I affirm what Apostle Peter advises here… “keep away from” these desires – “abstain from” them – as some versions translate the phrase.
But I think there is also something even more decisive and determinative that we can do… we can take the issue to the cross and identify fully with what Jesus did there on our behalf! Here’s how Apostle Paul put it in Romans… “You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus! Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Romans 6:11-13 ESV)
Why do I need to do that on as often as necessary? Not only for my personal spiritual victory… but as Peter says, for the benefit of my witness before my unbelieving neighbor! Help me Lord!!