By: Carole L. Haines
Our cat, Ponyo, was batting the newest member of our cat-toy gallery around the floor this morning. It’s hysterical to watch. My husband said to her, “Ponyo, it looks like you’re trying to play a game of trying to keep it away from myself. You play with it a while, then you throw it away, then you go after it again.”
Now isn’t that just like our habitual sins? We play with them awhile, we try, in our own strength, to throw them away. Then we tend to pick them back up again. Or as some people say, slowly slide back into them. We cannot conquer our hang-ups, sins, and bad habits in our own strength.
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15)
The topic line for this Passage of Scripture is The Conflict between The Two Natures. We’ve all felt that conflict, that pulls toward what’s not good for us. I love how this conflict is described in the Book of James
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
1) Carried Away by temptation
2) Enticed by his own lust
3) Lust is conceived
4) It gives birth to sin
5) Sin brings forth death
Sin, habits, hang-ups, call it what you will. It’s at least a five-step process. It begins in our thoughts. We think about sinful things. This is where true change must begin. We must learn to replace our thoughts with the Wonderful truth of God’s Word. Those of you who know my story, know I have had to build a whole new mind on the Word of God. My tendency toward anxiety and depression nearly crushed my soul. But God’s Word has, is, and will continue to make me new. If transformation does not begin with the Spirit of God’s power through His Word, it is usually only behavior modification. Behavior modification is humanly based and will not be lasting. We need God’s transformational Word and Power, beginning with our thought life. Let’s be transformed from life to life, from glory to glory, from where we are to who He sees us to be in Christ.
Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)