Have you ever experienced a conflict taking place inside--as if part of you knows how a Christian ought to live, but the other part simply doesn't want to?
Behaviors and actions outside the will of God
Sinful habits that condemn you and make you question if you are a true child of God
Dependency on substances, such as alcohol, cigarettes, the use of legal/illegal drugs, etc.
These symptoms mean that your mind is bound by one or more of Satan's strongholds. The Apostle Paul discribes it quite well. (Romans 7:18-20).
This inclination to keep on sinning can lead to frustration, constant failure and eventual defeat. Fortunately God has provided a way for you to overcome. He is able to work a miracle inside you. This transformative miracle will help you see life from a whole new perspective and give us the ability to prevail as a Christian; becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ. Let's investigate a little further.
What is the source of this conflict?
Watch the video from the last lesson on temptation. Marshmallow. The only reason these children were so tempted is because they had an appetite or desire for a marshmallow. They wouldn't have been so enticed if they really didn't like the taste of marshmallows. The Bible uses several ways to describe this propensity or appetite to sin.
Through Jesus Christ you have power to live a victorious life. You can prevail over the evil that so easily entices you. (Romans 8:1-4) The Holy Spirit can tranform your life and give you a whole new way of thinking. The first example we have of this great tranformation was with the first disciples of Christ. Acts 2. God offers you the same gift.
You can begin by praying this simple prayer:
I am tired of struggling against my own will and desire. I am tired of failing you time and time again. I surrender myself completely to you. I give you my entire life. I want to be completely yours. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Please transform my life. Work a miracle in me. I accept the gift of your Holy Spirit.
What happens now?
God has just done a wonderful work of grace in your life. But there is more. God's work is not finished. He wants you to continue to develop character and mature as a Christian.
The Apostle Paul describes this very well in Philippians 3:10-13. Throughout the rest of your life, you will find habits, attitudes, relationships, and actions that need to be changed. Allow God to continue this work in you.
Take a moment and study the following illustruation
Notice the many points of decision a person makes along his journey. Each new realization requires another decision to follow Christ.
Notice that wherever we are on the journey, we never become completely perfect until we are with Christ in heaven. We can have a pure heart, but we will always need to grow and mature in our faith.
Where are you in your journey?
Below are several sets of verses. Read one set for each day this week. As you read a set of verses consider the following questions: What does the Bible say about living a holy life? What decisions do we need to make, or actions do we need to take in order to continue to grow in Christ?