By Jennifer Slattery –
Some days I feel like I’m tottering on a fraying rope being pulled in two directions. It’s an emotional tug-of-war and only I can determine the winner. Will I give in to my sinful nature that seeks comfort, pleasure, self-gratification, and the path of least resistance or will I lay it all on the alter in continual surrender.
According to Romans 8:5-8 (NIV), there’s no middle ground. Either I’m sold out 100% for Christ, offering my body as a living sacrifice, or I’m living to please myself.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
If I’m not controlled by the Spirit, I’m dominated by my sinful nature and although this sinful nature may appear pleasurable at first, it leads to death—death of relationships, death of ministries, death of marriages. The moment I give into my sinful nature, I wage war on the things of God.
My sinful nature leads to spiritual slavery, deception, and self-destruction, whereas surrender leads to freedom. So why would I ever choose my will over God’s? Perhaps because I deceive myself into believing I can’t do better. Do I not understand the power of Him who lives within me? When Christ died on the cross, He broke the power of sin. When I accepted Him into my life, He came to live inside me. This means I have the strength and power of the victorious, risen Savior living within. Sin—selfishness, greed, irritability, judgmental attitudes, fear, anxiety—has no power over me, unless I allow it to.
Each day I have a choice. Will I allow sin to dominate my thinking or will I surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit. And each day, I will reap the consequences of my choice.