Mark 7:15 “Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’”
Last week we explored this verse in the context of who controls you: God or sin? (You can read last week’s devotion by going to https://www.growinginchrist.net/Devotion/Detail). You can live in sin or thwart sin. The lives of so many Christians become about their struggles with sin rather than conquering sin as 1 John 5:4 says: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.”
The real battle is not what sin or temptation comes in, but what God does with the sin and temptations that confront you. There are multiple things that can help prevent sin from taking over your life, but I would like to suggest five that have greatly helped me:
- Your battle with sin will be won or lost in the power of your daily quiet time which consists of prayer and Bible reading. Jesus best exemplified this in Mark 1:35: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” Your quiet time gives God the opportunity to fill you with life, love, direction, thankfulness, correction, and joy. It is a time of worship that equips you for the day. Will you be one who leaves on a trip with no gas in the car, money for the trip, no clothes packed, and no route picked for the destination? The quiet time equips you for your daily trip with God rather than you being consumed by sin. (Lesson 3 in the “Your Life in Christ” Bible study at www.growinginChrist.net covers the quiet time.)
- Know your identity in Christ as described in Ephesians 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.” Your identity in Christ equips you to deal with all that you are confronted with in life. Who you are in Christ is critical for defeating sin. (The Bible study “Identity in Christ” in www.growinginChrist.net covers)
- Live wisely by putting God first. Romans 6:13 shows how to do this: “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.” Most sin is foreseeable. Taking the time to foresee sin, while seeking God’s sensitivity to sin, will protect you or prepare you in dealing with it. (The Bible study “Satisfaction” covers in www.growinginChrist.net)
- Continually call on God throughout each day. God is not a single event in your day, but a constant dialogue of refreshment, equipping, and direction. Psalm 50:15 says to: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.” Be ready to call when sin calls!
- Finally, memorize Scripture. Psalm 119:11 is one of a multitude of verses that instructs you to memorize Scripture: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Scripture memory prepares and equips you for the day’s battles. (The Bible Study, “Discipleship: One-on-One,” Lesson 6 covers in www.growinginChrist.net)
As I said earlier, there are a multitude of Scriptures for living in righteousness and not sin. Begin with these Scriptures and principles but continue to buffet yourself throughout life with God’s principles, promises, and power.
2 Timothy 2:22 “. . . pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
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