Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Your Own Civil War

by Donna L. Watkins

Ever feel like you want to surrender and just lay down and die? If you have a civil war going on in your mind, at some point you will feel like giving up. Life can be so frustrating, as Paul writes about in Roman 7:15, "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate."

Sin is a daily battle and it's one that's fought alone, out of view of friends and family and in the shadows of our mind. We play guilt tapes over and over as the devil whispers, "You'll never be good enough. Give up. Stop trying to be so holy. Nobody else is perfect. Everybody sins. Don't worry about it."

The devil knows Scripture and quotes it well having had thousands of years of practice. Don't let his choice of condemning words take you down. Yes, we have all failed, but God still calls us to be holy. Don't give up! Paul says, "Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." We make the choice daily - Spirit or flesh? That's why it's so important to be in the Word early in the day. The devil camps at your pillow and is ready to pounce the moment you lift your head.

One problem is to try to conquer it on your own. We like to keep our sins hidden, but the Bible tells us to "confess our sins, one to another." It brings it out into the Light so the devil can't make you think it's only your dark secret. Find a person with mercy and wisdom and share with them. Ask God to deliver you. You work at keeping your thoughts clear and your actions will follow your direction because no action occurs without a thought preceding it.

Some people memorize a Scripture related to their sin issue and that's a good thing to overcome evil with the Word. Another thing I've noticed that works, and takes less concentrated effort when we've got something that jumps around in our brain like soda droplets hitting the air after we've shaken a bottle and opened the top, is to choose a Word that means a lot to you. I mean one word of the Word. Like Jesus, or glory, or freedom, praise, or hallelujah.

A word that resonates with the deepest parts of your soul. One you can repeat over and over while it washes your mind free of the thoughts that turn into sins. The thought is not the sin ... it's choosing to continue thinking it or acting upon it that turns into sin. Don't let the devil fool you by saying that you will never stop thinking about it so you'll never stop sinning.

You only sin when you act upon the thought. Beg God to get the stuff out of you! When you've had thoughts that have controlled you for a long time, you will need God's help in cleaning that mental house. You can't conquer it alone.

Never give up hope! You are not hopeless! Through God's amazing grace He can take the bad and the ugly experiences of your life and use them to make you so much better than you would've been without them. In the economy of the Kingdom, all in your life is redeemed and nothing is ever lost.

Those bad experiences will all be used to make you better. Love Him and let go of the past, whether it's your childhood or yesterday. He will turn the dung into gold if you will let Him.

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© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, TheNatureInUs.com for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL: http://www.thenatureinus.com

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