“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:17)
The Bible says: “If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies … always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should” (vv. 16-17). Sound familiar?
Here are four keys to winning the daily battle between your old and new natures:
- Be honest. Acknowledge that your flesh will always crave satisfaction in the wrong things — and it never takes a day off.
- Be humble. Acknowledge that you’re powerless to win the battle without God’s help. By committing yourself to God, you draw on His strength in those first crucial moments of each test. And your ability to do that will grow as you practice this spiritual discipline. The closer you draw to God, the stronger you become when faced with temptation and trouble.
- Be disciplined. This is a personal matter; no one else can do it for you. Paul writes, “You must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives” (Romans 6:12). If someone else has to restrain you, it doesn’t work!
- Be alert. As a soldier David should have known better, but Satan caught him off guard with his defenses down. As a result, he ended up committing adultery with Bathsheba, then having her husband put to death in an attempt to cover it up.
Maybe you think it couldn’t happen to you. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, wrote, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Heavenly Father, I battle with my old sinful nature and many times lose. Thank You for Your grace and the chance to try again — connected to Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.