First Things @ First
In reading a few weeks ago I came across a statement that the Holy Spirit has reinforced in my life over the past few days.
The statement came from the book 'How to Pray' by Dr. Ronnie Floyd.
Floyd said, (and I paraphrase) --'too many believers spend too much time trying to manage their sin instead of repenting of their sin and enjoying victory over it!'
The more I think about it, that may well explain why the Church is powerless in its influence of salt and light in the present age. The BIG problem is not the assault from without but rather the corruption from within.
I agree with Floyd that this is far too common the response to sin in the lives of many saints. And the evidence is seen in the continuing struggles of good people who wrestle within themselves with the same sins repeatedly.
We ought to do better! We know to do better! Many even would like to do better BUT many do not. Some decide to try harder and may do okay for a few days, especially after a revival at church or a public rededication at a given invitation on Sunday morning or even a circumstance that almost 'blew the lid off' the secret. However, it is not long before the Tempter-In Chief drops by with the same 'bait' that he has used repeatedly to distance a believer from enjoying intimate fellowship with God. And unless that soul has truly repented from sin, the desire to satisfy the flesh leads us back to the prison of guilt and shame that has come to be more familiar than daily victory. What love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness delivered just a few hours, days, or weeks earlier has come once again to set up camp within the heart.
Where there is no godly sorrow over deeds done or words spoken, there will be no real repentance. So long as a person is sorry that sin ruined their reputation in the church or community, that kind of sorrow is more often sourced in sorrow of being caught rather than sorrow that leads to repentance. And sadly, many well-intentioned souls deceive themselves in thinking they can handle it instead of confessing it to one's own detriment (Proverbs 28:13).
John the evangelist provides us with a much better alternative. One that is inspired of the Holy Spirit of God. One that truly provides victory in Jesus. The promised provision of God is found in 1 John 1:9 that says, "IF we confess (agree with God on the severity of sin) our sins (plural) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The Bible reminds us in Psalm 24:3-4 that clean hands and pure hearts are essential for operating in the presence and power of holiness. Such is both the worth and work of sanctification.
For any individual to soon return to 'the wallow' of wickedness because it is the natural thing to do reveals that soul has never been truly redeemed nor has their life been radically altered by the power of God unto salvation by grace through faith (2 Peter 2:18-22). That soul is held in a prison of deception that lives a lie instead of being absolved of the lie they're living. And by that practice, a person, any person can become the embodiment of a false teacher that leads others astray.
Victory over sin is a choice, not chance. Victory is always possible over sin as we repent and forsake it in the power of Jesus' name instead of trying harder to manage it.
Bottom line-- no one may go with God and stay where they are or how they were! To experience victory along the journey, each of us must come to Jesus just as we are without one plea believing His blood was shed for me. We will then discover through humility of soul that the power of God will never leave us just as we are!
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2) and you will find yourself not being conformed to the world system that appears to surround you in an attempt to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus!
Victory is enjoyed through humility of heart!
Be an overcomer in Christ,