For years I struggled with certain sins that I knew were wrong but yet it was so hard to have victory over. I would get to the point that even asking forgiveness for them seemed pointless because I knew I would do it again. Been there too? Why is it that we struggle sometimes with sin that we know we are not to be involved in? Paul knew this answer all to well and I want to share with you today something that has truly helped me and my husband Rob out in our walk. This may be a longer post than what I normally type, but I truly believe this can help you if you are in the same boat.
I want you to pin point in your mind what kind of Christian are you after you read this. We will see 2 types..The Romans 7 and the Romans 8 Christian.
Romans 7, Paul explains how hard it is to shake some of the sin he had in his life. He explains that what he knows he should be doing, he doesn’t do. And what he shouldn’t be doing, he does. (Romans 7:18-19)
This type of Christian struggles in having victory over a sin. They try and “quit” so many times, but fall right back into it, which makes them frustrated and feel like God could never forgive them. Yes this Christian is saved, that isn’t the problem, the problem is that they are doing life on their own and not asking for the God-given power of the Holy Spirit to have victory.
How does a Romans 7 Christian get victory then? They honestly cannot have victory over their sins. It is an exhausting life to live as a Romans 7 Christian. You barely see any hope over your sin and are stuck right where Satan wants you. Unusable for God and a bad testimony to the world.
A Romans 8 Christian is “Spirit-filled”. What does that even mean? If you go to Ephesians 5:18 it says:
“Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
This verse is saying just like a drunk person is controlled by alcohol, the same goes for how we should be filled by the Holy Spirit. Being filled by the Holy Spirit isn’t just a one time thing. Just like someone that has to put forth an action to get drunk, so a Christian needs to ask God each day for the power of the Holy Spirit to have victory in their life. It takes dedication, humbleness, persistence, and full dependence on God to give you the victory.
Romans 8:1 ” There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” – Once you live your life according to the Spirit you will have more victory.
Romans 8:5- ” For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
What are the things of the Flesh and what are things of the Spirit?
Flesh: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galations 5:19-21)
Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galations 5:22)
You see sin is not the issue, it is a heart issue. Sin is just a symptom of the heart. Once we realize that and ask God to show us what we need to work on, He will guide you through His word and reveal sin you may not even know you struggled with! (For me it was anger, selfishness, and pride) And once I started to read Bible verses on what God thought of those issues and what the opposite of those issues were, I started to ask Him to take those sins away and replace it with the good. And now I can easily nip in the bud those sins as they come into my mind or out of my mouth.
Galations 5:13-” For you, brethren, have been called to liberty (freedom); only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”- just because you are saved from hell, doesn’t give you the permission to live life on your terms and do sin and think “God will forgive me”. Use your liberty or freedom in your life to serve others and to walk in the Spirit!
I want to encourage you, to stop trying to have victory on your own, because you will only be defeated and depressed. Satan is intelligent and powerful and it really is only through the Holy Spirit that you can defend yourself and take him on. If you struggle with something that you have not been able to get rid of, ask God to show you what the heart issue is that is creating this symptom in your life. Ask Him to make you Holy Spirit filled and each day commit to seeking this in your life and YOU WILL HAVE VICTORY!