Core Christian value
Our lower nature (flesh) is at war with our spirit. We have a “built-in” knowledge of right and wrong. God wants to unite our spirit and His Spirit. He will strengthen us.
The Apostle Paul presents a point of view you should consider. He says, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to-what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. ROMANS 7:15-16 TLB
Paul is teaching us that we know what we should do and when we do bad things, we knew they were bad. He says our conscience proves to us that what we are doing is wrong.
Then Paul says: So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. ROMANS 7:23 TLB
What Paul describes as our “deadly lower nature”, is the “default setting” we find ourselves in at birth. You know what a default setting is. For instance, if your new car measures the mileage as miles instead of kilometers, then the factory has preset the odometer to miles. You can take action to change the default setting to kilometers if you want to, but if you do not do so, it will continue to measure the distance you travel in miles.
If you find yourself wanting to change the default setting of your life from dominance by a deadly lower nature, often referred to as the dominance of the flesh, you must take action. You were born in the flesh but God placed in you, a spirit. God wants His Spirit and your spirit to be united, to be as one. When you agree that is what you want as well, you turn to Him ask him to forgive you for all the dumb things (sin) you have done. God promises that He will change the default setting of your heart from one of flesh to one of Spirit, His Spirit in you.
You will still have impulses to revert to your old default setting of “the flesh” but God has promised that he will intervene for you. Listen to His wonderful promise: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 NKJV
How can you escape? First, understand that temptation does not come from God. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me; “…for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” JAMES 1:13 NIV. Who is the tempter? Remember when the comedian said “the devil made me do it”. Does blaming the devil let you off the hook?
Can you defeat temptation by your own resolve? In this life will you ever be “not tempted”? Is victory over temptation ever “yours”? Know this: “God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect”.
2 SAMUEL 22:33 NKJV
Do you sometimes feel like there is a tug of war going on inside you? How do you deal with it?