Proverbs 27:19 “As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.” (NIV)
It is human nature to size up a person by their appearance and actions. Unfortunately outward appearance seldom reflects who a person is. Human nature causes us to focus on the outward manifestations of sin, habits, and character flaws instead of where these come from – the heart. The more we focus on our sins, the more frustrating they become when they continue to plague us. This type behavior drove Paul to say in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (NIV) You may desire all that God wants in your life as Paul did in Romans 7:22a: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” (NIV), but still have not acknowledged that it is out of your control as Paul did in Romans 7:17, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” (NIV)
This frustrating cycle of sin and failure was the very reason Jesus came, lived, and died for you. Jesus was not only the perfect sacrifice to give us freedom from sin, but He also demonstrated how to live in the Spirit. Your path to freedom and victory over sin is the same as Jesus’ in 1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” (NIV) Your daily confrontations with sin must be met with a willingness to die to self, so the Holy Spirit is free to impact your heart, so true transformation can take place. Your ability to do this is directly tied to the depth and intimacy of your relationship with Christ. Jesus will be met with a hardened and aloof heart when you occasionally and intermittently dwell with Him. On the other hand a heart that pursues Jesus throughout each day will with increasing measure be led by the Holy Spirit. As Jesus demonstrated the exchanged life of “dying to self and living through the Holy Spirit,” so you must too hear and respond continually to His life in you, so the Holy Spirit can make you alive in Christ! Paul went on to say in Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (NIV) Choose life and not death in your walk with Christ on this earth. Closely examine where your heart resides and what it craves. The Holy Spirit’s transforming power is only released in a heart that is available to God and not committed elsewhere. The Holy Spirit desires to free you from the bondages of sin, so you can live in the fullness of Christ!