by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday October 30, 2004
The Troublemaker Within Us
When we set our minds on things of the flesh - those sinful attitudes, ideas, and habits in our life - we are decreeing death to the things of God. What makes such desires hard to resist is that they are natural and involve common worldly aspirations like money, sex, prominence, and power. But Scripture says the natural man does not receive the things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Just because something is natural or "only human" does not mean it is right.
Notice that there's nothing wrong with eating, but the Bible considers gluttony sinful. (Proverbs 23:20-21) Nor is there anything immoral about sex when it is practiced within the boundaries God gave us. As long as appetites and desires are subdued and brought under the subjection of the Holy Spirit, our fellowship with God can continue harmoniously. When yearnings are unrestrained, however, our closeness and communication with the Lord is hindered.
To give control of our life over to the Holy Spirit, we must be persuaded that we cannot live righteously in our own strength. Most of us already know we are struggling to live in a God-pleasing manner; to correct the situation, we must surrender our entire being to Him - mind, will, emotion, and conscience. Ask Him to reveal areas of weakness, and then give each frailty to the Lord as it comes to light. This is something that needs to be done not once, but every day. Each morning when you wake up, it's wise to pray, "Father, today I'm totally Yours. I can't live the Christian life, but You can live through me."
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