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Monday, January 23, 2017

" I can't stop sinning!"

Killing the flesh- is it a process, or a sudden death? Scripturally, when you are baptized, it is a type of burial. The old you goes down beneath the water and is supposed to stay there. The new you arises, prepared to walk in the newness of life. Old things have passed away, and behold all things are become new (2Cor5.17)...Or have they?
     I say this not to question the power or validity of the watery grave of baptism. I know people who have been baptized and came up completely delivered from their struggles with sin, and I mean completely

     So then the question becomes not what's wrong with the baptism, but rather what's wrong with some of us?? Paul gives an amazing instructional on this, that has quite literally, saved my life. He explains in Romans 7, that we are all slaves to a Master- either sin, or righteousness (satan, or God). And once we are saved we are SUPPOSED TO BE set free from one master, in exchange for another.
     If only it were that simple, you sigh. Well, I used to feel the same way, until God helped me understand a vital truth: Sin is ever-present with us, because it lives in us 😱 (Rom.7.21). Our very own bodies betray us because they serve sin- he is their master and they are faithful to him, and always will be πŸ‘ΏπŸ‘ΏπŸ‘Ώ.   
          Paul carefully warns us that our members- (that lustful eye, those sticky fingers, that ratchet tongue and many other uncooperative body parts) constantly rage war against the spirit of God, which also resides within us once we are saved. We may have a desire to do right, but still do wrong, he warns. So how in the world (pun intended 😁) do we win a civil war against sin? 
       Well, this is a very multilayered and complex question which cannot be answered in one blog post, with one scripture, or with one answer. Because the truth is that through practice, experience, (and spiritual warfare) we learn.     But, I do have an amazing revelation to share, which was a game-changer for me.
      We have discussed that there is an inner war going on within us all. But here's the key- this battle is one of the mind. You see there are voices in our heads, that speak to us. (Stay with me here, πŸ˜†πŸ˜œ). There is a voice that instructs us, reminds us, encourages us- and not only to do what is right, but to do what is wrong. "Just this once," it says."Nobody is perfect, and I know God understands this," it lies.
     I am learning through experience (coupled with scripture, amen) that there are three voices speaking; ourselves, our flesh, and the spirit of God. (Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, just as they depict it on TV) Recognizing this is crucial to learning to live right! Once you recognize the voice of Satan, you can rebuke him in the name of Jesus, and he will flee from you (James 4.7)
      But, another ugly truth often presents itself; that sometimes we want Satan to stay. We enjoy our sins in the moment, as the writer says in  (Heb.11.25). In the moment, the seductive voice of satan tells us exactly what we want to hear, and his timing is impeccable. He begins to persuade just as the sinful opportunity presents itself: "No one will know, repent later." (Really?!) "It may be wrong, but it is worth it..." (Liar!) Or, even worse, the ultimate lie- "I'm too far gone, and it seems I may never be free from this."   
     This is the moment of truth. Becoming conscious in this moment of decision is crucial to your freedom- realizing that it's not you and your conscience debating, but rather you, the Holy Spirit, and Satan at war. Sharply rebuke that devil in the name of Jesus, and the weights of temptation will lift off of you, immediately (James 4.7) Immediately following that, turn from whatever or whomever it was that made you feel that temptation and you WILL be free.
      I know from experience that this is a discipline that gets easier. You will shock yourself. And as time progresses, you will be sharper at hearing the voice of the enemy, and also the voice of the Holy Spirit, which we will talk about later. 
      I pray that this encouraged you to fight another day! If so, please share this with someone else so we can all win! 

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