Paul says in Romans 7:15 “I am not practicing what I would like to do but I am doing the very thing I hate.”
As a Christian, I have God-given guilt and shame when I sin. I hate it that I do not glorify God with everything I do. At the same time, when I sin, I do it with full knowledge I am sinning. That is rebellion against my LORD! I want to stop sinning. So, what does the Bible say about it?
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” As I read this, I notice that I need to be clear-headed. 2 Cor. 11:3 says, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” This means my thoughts can be led astray by myself or others.
I need to be watchful of my own weaknesses, such as a lack of self-control. 1 Cor. 7:5 says, “…so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Examining myself, as well as the nomenclature of the process of sin, is a must. James 1:14 says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Desire comes before temptation, and these things come before sin. I cannot be tempted by something that I do not first desire inwardly. So, it is not simply Satan who is my adversary, but also the sin nature that I was born with.
Desire exists when something is lacking. This sense of lack can be real or perceived. My real lack of belief that God will always provide is the beginning of the sin process. When I think I lack something, I am failing to believe in the security of God’s provision of all things. From my sense of lack, I begin a desire to take control of the real or perceived lack. Now is when temptation raises its ugly head and it pushes me to seek out a ‘fix’ for the issue. When I fail to resist all these things, sin takes hold and I act on the ‘fix’ I have devised for myself.
If I want to fight sin, I have to fight the desires of my natural self and that of Satan. The Holy Spirit was given to the Christian by Christ to create new desires within my heart. I must believe God will and is doing this good work in me. He is my security and safety where I lack nothing! Temptation dies on the vine because the desires given by the Holy Spirit will produce fruit, as I focus on God instead of myself. At all times, I must embrace the working of the Holy Spirit in me who is applying the salvation Jesus produced by His work.
Although I am a sinner, I am a sinner saved by grace. God is the author and finisher of my salvation and has given me the Holy Spirit to overcome all things. If I am a Christian, I will be able to overcome sin more and more, but not totally due to the remnant of my sin nature. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ and gladly rely on the work of God in me to overcome. My responsibility is to continuously examine myself and marinate myself in the Word of God humbly recognizing God provided the victory.
If you are like me, we have the liberty to live in unity with God because of Jesus and should want nothing more than to glorify God in all we do. Lets stay sober minded and watchful regarding our desires. Embrace God’s hatred of sin and apply it in our lives through the gift of the Holy Spirit.