When we become Christians we eventually have to give up our old lives for good. The problem with that is...we have an enemy. The old liar, the devil. But we also have the ONE who is always by our side. In fact we have a whole Trinity...GOD, JESUS, and the HOLY SPIRIT!! They are all there to help us whenever we need help. Let's talk about this...
We have a battle going on "around us" and "in us" all the time. It's been called a spiritual battle...the battle of good and evil...GOD and the devil...also known as "the evil one". We don't always think about there being a battle "around us" because we don't always feel that one. But, we do feel when the battle is going on "inside of us". It seems that you are in turmoil, you may be nervous...jumpy...on edge. At times your health even suffers because of worry, anxiousness, paranoia and doubt. Then the big guns come out and he starts throwing temptations at you. They may be things you have never even thought of before, or they may be things you did in your past. Whatever the case may be, he is throwing them at you hard and fast. Trying to get you so worked up you succumb to whatever they are. Then, if these attacks don't work, he will lie to you like crazy. Telling you it's okay to do the things you used to do. He tells you these things you did aren't that bad and you can do some of them and still serve GOD too. HE'S a forgiving GOD and doesn't mind if you stray a little bit. You will be forgiven, all you have to do is ask! After all...Other Christians are doing these things and they're still doing okay! "But wait" you say, "I have a ministry, what will happen to it?" He just tells you that, "It will be okay, who will know?" So you start thinking...rationalizing...
You keep thinking that maybe the "old liar" is right. No one will know. You have hidden things from everyone before. You know you are good at that!! Maybe it won't hurt...just this one time. You really used to enjoy yourself...had a lot of fun...you weren't quite so boring!! You need to relax...have some fun...live a little!! After all, you have been pretty anxious and jumpy lately. You think you need to do something to calm yourself down. Most of your friends would be okay with it, and the ones that wouldn't be, you just wouldn't tell! But then you start to think that maybe this wouldn't be a good idea. GOD has done so much for you how could you even think of going back to old things. What a disappointment you would be to HIM! GOD sent HIS SON JESUS to die for you. How could you just throw that away? Then there's all your friends that have prayed for you and believed in you. Do you want to disappoint them too? GOD starts working in your heart and your head!! HE has a response for all of this. Paul wrote it down so we could read it whenever we need too...
Ephesians 4:17-24 and 30 (The Message)
The Old Way Has to Go
17-19And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
20-24But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
30Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted.
You know, when you read this passage, that it is all true. The old way does have to go and it has to go for good. You realize that yes...there will always be temptations...but your SAVIOR will always be there to help you with them. All you have to do is talk to HIM and turn it over to HIM. You don't want to take a chance on giving up your new life in CHRIST. GOD will not turn HIS back on you if you mess up but...you may turn your back on HIM. You ask yourself, "What would you do if you didn't have the LORD in your life anymore?" That's one question I don't even want to have to answer. In fact, I don't even want to think about it!
I think sometimes we give the devil too much credit. He is not as powerful as we let ourselves believe. The devil just wants us to believe that we can't do without the things of our past. He doesn't like what you are doing for GOD. You have become a threat so he has turned up the heat!!
We need to continue to do whatever it is that GOD has set before us. It is wrong of us not to do what we know is right. The LORD will bless our lives as long as we are doing our best for HIM.
James 4:17 (New Living Translation)
17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
Psalm 84:11 (New Living Translation)
11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
There is an answer for all of this...Give GOD total control of your life and don't even think about going back!! Living your life for GOD is the best it can ever get!!
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (The Message)
A New Life
17-20 Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.