Competing Desires

Satan still has a toehold in the lives of the redeemed. It is our old nature that was passed down to us from Adam. Until we came to Christ, that nature was without any serious competition. When we are born again, we are given a new nature, God’s nature, a Spiritual nature. Receiving this nature is a death sentence for the old one. However, the old nature will not give up until the last gasp. It is gradually losing its strength but can still muster some resistance. It’s ability to hold on is in its use of wrong desires. These tempt us to give in and do what we “feel” we want to do. Our new nature wants to honor and obey God. Our thinking is pulled in both directions. Only as our minds are strengthened by God’s Word can we resist the emotional pull of the old nature and satisfy the desires of our new nature. When temptation comes, our Biblically informed minds see it for what it is and turn to God for strength to resist. This strength is for us to will to refuse to succumb to our feelings and will to do His will. This strength is a disciplined determination to go by God’s Word and not be controlled by sinful desires. When we feel that pull to give in to sin and wrong, we must use our Scripturally strengthened wills to go by God’s principles and refuse to go by “feelings.” Paul explained this to the Galatian Christians (and to us) in Galatians 5:16: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust (desires) of the flesh (the old nature).” (Walking in the Spirit will engage our thinking tomorrow, God willing). In the third stanza of “Teach Me to Pray, Lord” by Albert S. Reitz,) we are given insight: “My weakened will, Lord, Thou canst renew; my sinful nature Thou canst subdue; fill me just now with power anew, power to pray and power to do!” Selah! One of the greatest aspects of our freedom in Christ is freedom from slavery to our “feelings.” Learning to bring our wills down on the side of God’s Word is wonderfully liberating!   Ron 

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