“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (NKJV)
We recently received a question from a subscriber of the 31-day KingdomNomics Applied devotionals about how to overcome a particular moral issue in his life, in addition to fending off the accusations of Satan even after confession of the sin to God.
We suggested several steps an individual can take to overcome sin. The first step is to confess: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NKJV)
Confession includes repentance from continuing or practicing the sin.
Second, God gives us the power to overcome temptation and sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:12–13, NIV)
Because we are now under grace, we are no longer under the law. Grace gives us the power to overcome temptation.
Third, if we avail ourselves of power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome sin: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16, NIV)
We ask God to fill us with his Holy Spirit and to take control of how we think, feel, and act. We must remember that we cannot “talk the talk” if we do not “walk the walk.” Sin will destroy our effectiveness to be a witness for the Lord.
Fourth, it is important to bring our thought life into captive obedience to Christ: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)
Whoever controls our mind, controls us. God gives us the power to reject thoughts not in conformance with his will.
Fifth, to the extent possible, remove yourself from the source of the temptation. Terminate any wrong relationship. Focus your mind on the good; practice SOAK, SOW, and FLOW; and continue to do the next thing God wants you to do. In some situations, professional help should be sought.
Remember, we are the temple of God, and Christ is the one who is now living his life in us: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV)
Today, ask yourself:
Am I asking God to fill me with his Holy Spirit, so I can live a life pleasing to him?