“So, dear brothers, you have no obligation anymore to your old sinful nature to do what it begs you to do.” Romans 8:12 (LB)
I don’t know about you, but I have to admit there were a lot of things I could not say ‘no’ to before the Holy Spirit came into my life. I wanted to say ‘no’, but I didn’t.
It really doesn’t matter what you call them, but we all have compulsions, habits, lusts, drives, desires or attractions that make us feel like we have no choice but to do them. You just can’t help yourself. You just can’t say ‘no’.
But if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you can say ‘no’. Romans 8:9 says, “You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are now controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ living in them does not belong to Christ” (NLT).
Now you will still have those desires. But the Holy Spirit will give you the power to say ‘no’ to them; you do not have to satisfy those desires. This is the difference the Spirit of God makes in you. This is how God sets you free from your compulsions.
The worst kind of slave is being a slave to your own natural desires. Some people say, “Well, if it’s natural, why should I limit it?” A lot of things seem natural. It’s natural to be self-centered, but acting on that desire might not be good for your kids or your spouse.
Natural doesn’t mean it’s always good. I might have a natural desire to cheat you out of all your money, but that doesn’t mean I should do it. But when I’ve accepted Christ into my life, I have the Holy Spirit to help power my decisions and say ‘no’ to the natural and ‘yes’ to the spiritually mature choice.
Take a look at this new curriculum from Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.
© Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. Used by permission.