Besides my old stronghold of anger (see “a very personal story”, I used to live with other habits that were sin. I simply did not realize that I could be completely free. But as I have developed the habit of sitting before he Lord every single day, he has finally conquered all of these old thinking patterns. It is this time with him that has allowed me to walk in his Spirit and die to sin. If I had not allowed him to teach me and strengthen me, I would have failed. (see “narrow path to transformation”)
I feel led to share a scripture with you that has been a lifeline to me in overcoming lingering fleshly habits.
“And if the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you.
Therefore brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit, you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…” (Romans 8:11-13)
Every time I would be tempted by the evil one, I would quote this scripture and remember that I have the same spirit in me that was strong enough to raise Jesus from the dead. Furthermore, I am not obligated to live in a way that I know leads to death. Choosing the Spirit will lead to life.
You know that time when the evil one comes knocking and he tempts you to engage in an old habit? It could be anger, fear, lust or anything that we know is not from God. The temptation can sit in the back of our minds until we choose to do away with it, or we succomb to temptation and allow it to grow. James wrote about this point of conception that will lead to the birth of sin, then its growth, and ultimately our own spiritual and emotional death. (James 1:13-15) It is at this point, before conception, that it is easiest to do away with sin. At this point we must choose life.
Evil thought patterns can seem normal to us because we have entertained them for so long, but walking with God will lead us to complete freedom no matter how messy our backgrounds may be. My life is a testimony of this. Walking with God will lead to higher and higher levels of freedom, until one day we find that there are no secret places of shame left. Our lives can be an open book of wholeness and holiness, a living breathing testimony of God’s goodness.