Copyright © 2011-2018 | Esther Joy Fajoye
Every now and then we find ourselves struggling to overcome temptations and desires of this world.
We are only human and can find ourselves thinking with our human minds even when we don't want to. Our spirit may be willing, 'but the flesh is weak.' (Matt 26:41) So we can't totally rely on our bodies because it can destroy us and lead us astray. That is why Jesus told us to be vigilant and 'watch and pray so we don't fall into temptation.' (Matt 26:41)
But there is always a way out, because God will never let us be tempted to more than we what we can bear and when we are tempted, he will always provide a way out so we can handle it - (1 Corinthians 10:13)
This means that we have the power to overcome sin and temptation, we don't have to struggle alone.
Paul found himself struggling with sin in Romans 7. He acknowledges the power of sin in his flesh and admits that he is a 'slave to sin' and finds himself doing things he doesn't want to do and hates it. (Romans 7:14-17). Every now and then we may find ourselves in the same struggle, stuck sinning and longing for the courage to stop and do good.
But Paul separates the 2, the sin in his flesh and the spirit who serves God.
The struggle comes when we can't separate it. We must that remember that our sins do not define us, it is not who we are, because Christ came to destroy sin, not us.
So we shouldn't beat ourselves up and be too hard on ourselves to settle and say, 'It's who I am, I can't help it...' because we are not defined by our sins.
We became sinners through inheritance from Adam but Christ came to restore us. Romans 5:19 says that 'through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners but through the obedience of the one man, many will be made righteous.'
Through Adam, we became sinners through the flesh, but when Christ came, he gave us a righteous spirit to give us salvation for our sins. Before Christ came, there were no hope for sinners, but his death gave us salvation and restoration for our spirits which he made righteous.
So Christ has already paid the penitence for sin, but the enemy, who only comes to steal, kill and destroy lies to us and wants us to think that we are hopeless sinners, but he doesn't speak directly to us, he speaks to us through the flesh, because it is our flesh that is weak and sins, not our righteous spirit which is everlasting.
That is why many people can say in their heart that they love and serve God, but still believe in the sin that their flesh does because the enemy keeps attacking our flesh, making us believe that it is who we are.
But we shouldn't live according to our flesh because it is only temporary, when we die, it turns back to dust and thats all that the enemy would get. In the garden, God cursed the enemy and said that it will 'crawl on its belly and eat dust all the days of its life.' (Genesis 3:14). This is the enemies future, he only gets our old remains. he has no rewards and is eternally separated from God. Thats why he only wants to steal, kill and destroy us to try and separate us from God too. But nothing at all can separate us from God (Romans 8:38).
But unlike the enemy, God has many plans for us, and has given us a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). We will also get many rewards. When we overcome the battle between the spirit and the flesh, we will 'receive the crown of life' from God. (James 1:12).
God will never leave us to struggle alone or allow the enemy to destroy our flesh. He understand the struggles we face living in this world. We are constantly surrounded by sin and desires everywhere we go. We are tempted everyday, but God wants to work with us to overcome it. But we cannot do it alone, only the power of Christ can separate the battle between our spirit and flesh, but we need to come to Him first to seek his help and guidance. When we come to Him, he comes to us too (James 4:8).
He is ready to take us and forgive us whenever we slip up, as long as we make the effort and stop making excuses for sin.
When we realise our wrong and come to God, he forgives us and 'remembers them no more' (Jeremiah 31:34).
We can always start again because we serve such an understanding, forgiving and loving God!
Whatever we're battling today, we don't need to struggle alone. God is at hand ready to help us overcome!