Spiritual Transformation, NOT Behavior Manipulation

Spiritual Transformation, NOT Behavior Manipulation

DAY 3 OF 6

What Will Hinder My Letting God Transform Me

If you are up against an opponent in a contest, doesn’t it help you to win if you know your “enemy” and what his strategies are? The same is true in our Christian walk. We have an enemy, but he can be defeated if we understand his tactics and utilize our “secret weapon!”

When I begin my Christian journey, I may mistakenly think I will never be tempted anymore. Perhaps I’ve now come to realize that I am still capable of not-so-good actions that I used to do, and am surprised that temptations haven’t just disappeared. Do I observe other Christians and think that the Christian life is a breeze for them, but for some reason it's hard for me?

I must realize that temptations, or a need to deny my own selfish desires, will always be a part of my life. We all have a “predisposition” or tendency to sin. So does that mean there is no hope? That we just give up and give in to temptation and not even try to follow God’s way?

2 Peter 1:3 says: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him…(NLT)   This means we CAN live the way He wants us to, because HE will help us!  

First, understand that while God has given us His nature (in the person of the Holy Spirit) to defeat the power of sin, we still have the sinful human nature inside us that we inherited from Adam that wants to pull us away from God.  

We can thank Adam and Eve for giving in to the temptation from the serpent who insinuated that God was a liar and didn’t have their best interest at heart because He was withholding something that they perceived was good for them. (The fruit was beautiful, delicious and – Satan said – it would make them wise like God.) 

Their sin was that they chose to fulfill their perceived needs INDEPENDENT OF GOD, rather than trusting Him. Of course, the serpent twisted God’s words and neglected to mention the consequences of eating the fruit.

When Adam and Eve sinned, their perfect nature that God had created became corrupted. And that same corrupted nature was born into each of us, as Paul said in Romans 5:12.  

So, maybe we need to understand the strategies of Satan who uses our human nature (both are our “enemy”) to pull us back down into sin, since our nature is to resist God. Then, as we walk closely with God, we won’t be surprised by the enemy’s tactics and we will increasingly depend less on self and more on God.

Understand that Satan’s strategy has NOT changed since the Garden. He will twist God’s words, saying “you can be fulfilled, content and happy without God” and “you can’t trust God to do what’s best for you.”

The answer is to know God intimately and walk with Him. My old nature that wants to rebel against God will try to lead me astray, but God gave me a new nature – His nature –The Holy Spirit - which is more powerful and has freed me from the power of my old nature.

From the time I was born to the time I became a Christian, I was focused on behavior. Now God wants to change my focus from outward behavior to inward transformation, because my behavior will always follow my inward convictions. 

It's easy to conclude that my sinful nature is different or worse than others’ sinful nature. But the truth is we all have the same corrupted nature. Sometimes Christians will say, “I'm so bad that I'm beyond repair,” or “I tried the Christian life, but I still have the same desires welling up in me, so I can’t do it.”

The answer is that “you can’t” but God can! But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. Romans 7:6 (NLT)

Prayer: God, I don’t understand why some things still tempt me to sin. I don’t want to do my life independent of You. I want to follow you and have the peace, contentment and joy that comes with serving you. Help me today to be focused on You, since You are more powerful than any temptation or desire in my life.

About this Plan

Spiritual Transformation, NOT Behavior Manipulation

Is God only concerned that I “behave correctly?” Am I “white knuckling” my Christian walk – trying hard to “be good?” That’s manipulating my behavior! God has a better plan than doing it the hard way, on my own. He wants...

We would like to thank Discipler Training International for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.disciplers.org/ or https://dti-tool.disciplers.org/

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