"Feeding the Beast"
Let's face it. Every one of us has a beast inside. We can blame the Devil. We can blame the temptations that exist in the world. But the Bible says that the real reason we all sin is because—news flash here—we're sinners.
But you say, I've trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior, why do I still struggle with sin? Good question. Here's the answer, you still have your old nature—your flesh—which is desperately evil and loves to sin.
The greatest Christian who ever lived, the Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament and spearheaded the spread of the church throughout the world, admitted that even he struggled.
At one point, Paul said, "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" (Romans 7:24) (NLT)
The good news is that Jesus Christ is the answer. He defeated sin and death at the cross. And he's put His Holy Spirit inside of you to lead you in victory over temptation. Before you knew the Lord, you didn't struggle; you were a slave to sin.
So, how do you win that struggle every day? Two keys:
Don't feed the beast. In other words, starve those sinful, fleshly desires. Here's a practical way to do that. Don't put yourself in situations that will lead you into temptation. This is a no-brainer. If you suffer with an addiction, don't hang with those who feed that addiction. If you are tempted to compromise your purity, don't sit in a dark backseat with someone of the opposite sex. Watch the entertainment that feeds your brain, shows that glorify sex and drinking and drugs and violence. I'm not a prude here, but the more you feed your flesh, the stronger it will be.
Fill up your desires with God. Don't just say no to temptation, say yes to God. The Bible says in Galatians, "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:18-20 (NLT)
Make it a habit to read your Bible daily, to pray daily, to read good Christian books and hang with good Christian friends. Listen to music that honors God.
Here's the bottom line: if you starve the beast, then it won't have the power to overpower your life.
Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at danieldarling.com.