We’ve been looking at the theme of an ‘Invisible War’ that we face every day as believers. In this war we come against three enemies: the devil, the world, and the flesh. And the hardest of them all is our flesh because it lives in us. Even though the Spirit of God lives in us, believers, our old nature that loves sin, that actively opposes God, is also living in us, till our very last breath. The only way to conquer the flesh and walk in freedom, is through daily reliance on the Holy Spirit.
The flesh’s desires usually lead to self-destructive habits like: Shame, Uncontrolled thoughts, Compulsions, Fear, Hopelessness, Bitterness, Insecurity.
We must replace each of the seven self-destructive habits with new biblical habits that are based on God’s Word. It takes a habit to replace a habit. Romans chapter 8 is the main source for our new biblical habits.
The Answer to Shame is – “I must daily remind myself what Jesus did for me.” (Romans 8:1-4). I must daily tell myself (out loud) that I’m no longer condemned or judged because Jesus was condemned and judged on the cross for me. He took my place.
The Answer to Uncontrolled thoughts is – “I ask the Holy Spirit to give me better thoughts.” (Romans 8:5-8) There are two types of mindsets: the mindset of the flesh (including uncontrolled thoughts) that leads to death and the mindset of God’s Spirit that leads to life and peace. If you want to have life and peace in your life, you must totally depend on the Holy Spirit. Pray, “Holy Spirit, please give me better thoughts.”
The Answer to Compulsions is – “Realise I Have a New Ability to say no.” (Romans 8:9-13) That New Ability comes from the Holy Spirit who’s living in us (believers) 24/7. We are no longer obliged to do whatever our compulsions, urges, lusts, or impulsive habits demand of us. Listen, “So, brothers and sisters, we have no obligation to live the way our corrupt nature wants us to live….if you use your spiritual nature (i.e. Holy Spirit) to put to death the evil activities of the body, you will live.” (Emphasis mine; Romans 8:12-13, GW) When a compulsion rears its ugly head pray, “Holy Spirit what do I think and say right now?” Then listen carefully and do exactly what the Holy Spirit directs you to do. The Holy Spirit wins, every time!
Today, in part 4, we will look at the Answer to Fear. I think this is one of the greatest weapons of the devil and the flesh. Thankfully God is always ahead and had already given us His Answer 2,000 years ago: Jesus Christ. But how does Jesus overcome fear? Very good question. Here’s a Hint: Turn your thoughts, your focus, on God, whenever you feel afraid.