God in Us—We Win!

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God in Us—We Win!

The enemy uses subtle methods of influencing our minds to make sin attractive and turn us away from the relationship with God we were created to enjoy. Spiritual warfare is not fought all at once, but is a series of small battles. By compromising just a little at a time, we can experience a slow fade and wind up far from fulfilling God's purpose in our lives. Accepting Jesus does not make us immune to temptation or sin, but His grace gives us the power to not be enslaved by it.

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us that we begin to be transformed by turning from our ungodly habits to ones that are faithful to God’s purpose. A lot of times people feel guilt and distress when they are tempted to do things they know are not in line with the Word of God. Even for the seasoned Christ follower, spiritual warfare against temptation is normal. Jesus freed our minds and spirits from the chains of sin, but we are living in bodies that still have sinful urges. Remember that it is not God who tempts us, but Satan. God allows us to be tempted only because when we overcome temptation it grows us to be more like Jesus, however God will never allow a temptation to enter our lives that we cannot overcome. "...God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13) To claim victory in spiritual warfare, we need to pray for understanding and strength and submit to the will of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. The truth of God’s Word will renew our minds and give us the ammunition to overcome sinful desires. Everyone has weaknesses, and we take the first step to overcoming them when we share them with God, asking Him in prayer to take them. Unfortunately there will still be times when we give in to temptation. It is then we must remember that Jesus forgave us for all our sins past, present and future. If we try to make excuses for our sins and do not admit to them, our hearts can become hardened to the voice of God. Instead we should immediately confess our sins to Jesus, then we will be forgiven and given the strength to not sin again (1 John 1:9).

Capturing our sinful thoughts and replacing them with Godly thoughts is something that takes practice. When we are strong in prayer and meditation in the Word, it is easier for us to overcome our weaknesses. We aid ourselves when we choose the company of people who will hold us accountable rather than lead us to sin. It sometimes takes bold steps to stop watching things on TV and listening to radio that stirs up sinful desires in our hearts. The act of making these decisions is the essence of the spiritual warfare that we all fight on a daily basis. The Christ follower will lose some battles, but when we stay faithful to the Word and follow Jesus, we will win the war and experience the joy that is our rightful inheritance.

Make It Stick: How does God give you the desire and power to please Him? Does your obedience make a difference?

Additional Reading: 1 John 3:24; John 15

From sermon 6121     Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

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