by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday November 5, 2004
Renewal or Relapse
1 John 1:5-9
Whether we have recently become believers or have followed Christ for years, our enemy the Devil seeks to attack our faith and cause us to relapse into disobedient ways. We are warned to be alert because our enemy is like a roaring lion seeking to harm us. (1 Peter 5:8)
His intentions are to enslave us to sin. When we succumb to temptation, Satan presses in to trap us so that we will feel estranged from God. Our enemy tries to convince us we cannot return to God in our current state. Some of us become so miserable that we buy the lie and embrace the world's ways.
Since our heavenly Father knows the Devil's tactics and our weaknesses, He has planned an escape for us. It is called "confession." Genuine confession means telling God what we have done and agreeing it is wrong - we express sorrow over it, acknowledge we cannot rescue ourselves, and declare our heartfelt desire to turn from our sin and live for Him again. God promises to forgive us and cleanse us so that we might be restored to fellowship with Him. (1 John 1:9)
To prevent entrapment by Satan, we are to take our "everyday, ordinary life . . . and place it before God as an offering" (Romans 12:1 THE MESSAGE). We should avoid becoming "so well-adjusted to [our] culture that [we] fit into it without even thinking" (Romans 12:2 THE MESSAGE). Most importantly, we must allow the Holy Spirit to transform us so that our external conduct and communication matches our new internal nature.
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