Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Fight Against Our Sinful Urges


I asked a dear friend of mine how she continues to delight in reading God's word each day and how she walks in repentance and chooses to fight against her desire to sin and the urge to give in to temptation.  Thank you, my sweet friend, for once again being a blessing and great help!

Here is Mrs. Murphy's response:

Well, I -specifically I- I don't.  I can't.  I in and of myself am unable to.  I really, really am.  There are two parts though.  There is dependence upon God because we simply CANNOT -CANNOT, a million times CANNOT- do or live the Christian life apart from Him.  But there is also the part of discipline -disciplining ourselves, which IS a choice WE OURSELVES MUST MAKE, but even then, we must still remember that it is GOD working in us to do for His good pleasure.  YET, it is still A CHOICE-.  It's a mystery.  At least to me it is...His sovereignty, the fact that He gave man a free will, how it is by faith alone that we have salvation, yet each one must work out his own salvation, yet still, it is God working in us to do for His good pleasure, yet even still we choose.

I try to acknowledge Him often as much as I can, and I tell Him that I KNOW that I CANNOT do this life -this Christian life- on my own apart from Him.  I try to do it first thing in the morning, which I don't always do, but was able to today, and through out the day.  Of course I still fail because I'm in this body and in this life so I'm not perfect, but the goal is to be more like Christ today than yesterday, and if I fail, I need to confess it as soon as I notice it, ask God for forgiveness...  There's times when I don't ask for forgiveness right away with my husband even though I notice it, and this is sin and falling short of the glory of God.

So then, if I really believe in this God I profess, and if I really believe that Jesus is coming back again soon, I submit to the Spirit and make it right, receive God's forgiveness and press on again.

Both dependence on God, and disciplining ourselves for Him, are ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL.  Both must be practiced.

Ray Comfort said that when he hears people pray for God to break them, that he thinks they do not know what it's like to be broken by God, or otherwise they wouldn't be asking Him to break them (I am paraphrasing here).  Like, if they really know what they were asking for, they wouldn't be asking for that.  I'm not saying that's a fact or like a 100 percent true kind of statement, but I agree with him.  If a person really, really knew what God's mighty hand can do in breaking a person, they would pray instead for God to either break them with kindness like Keith Green says, or to help them to obey without having to be broken.

For me, God broke me.  And though I'm so thankful that He did because my spiritual life and relationship with Him is totally different from what it use to be, just, I don't know how to explain it.  It would take too long to write, but though I'm thankful that I've been broken because of where I am now in my relationship with Him, if I could be granted only one wish, it would be to go back in time years back, and pray that God would help me to obey Him with all my heart, or at the most, break me with complete kindness and most gently as if I were a new born child.  Seriously.

God's breaking is not fun, nor does it feel good, but because He is so loving, it is only for the best, for the better, to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, and for His own glory alone.  But even then, He was still so kind and gentle with me, I just wish I would have known how wretched I am sooner than I did, and how mighty He is, sooner than I really found out.

There are certain truths to remember and keep in the forefront of our minds.  Our Christian life has to be a reality in our lives.  The heavenly must come down in our earthly everyday mundane ordinary lives.  Only He can accomplish this in us, as we die to the flesh, crucify it with its sinful passions and desires, and allowing Him to live in and through us- us with each moment we are tempted to sin, and instead allowing Him to live through us as we die to ourselves.  It's really the only way.

Sometimes it's just taking it one day at a time, one day at a time.  Living for Christ and walking in repentance has to be done over and over and over and over again until the day we die.  When a man and a woman get married, they vow till death do us part- for life.  We are married to Christ, and it's till death do us part.  In the case of our relationship with God, all wrong and sin is on our part, but His unconditional love and grace should not be taken advantage of.  This is all the more reason to love Him -obeying God's word- and being faithful to Him by fighting sin and the lusts that wage war against our very souls.

I have had SO MUCH failure in my life, and so many strong struggles and strongholds and crazy everything, all kinds of issues for long periods of time, that it gave me so much time to study myself, study a few others that were not going through what I was, or how they responded to things and lived out the Christian life, that I began to take notes -in my mind and even in writing- of what worked, what didn't, pit falls, what encouraged me and in what areas so when I encounter something in the future I can purposely seek to encourage myself with whatever it was for that specific area.  Like sermons and advice.  I counsel myself.  I'm my own counselor and "patient", I take note of certain sermons and in what way and area they encouraged me so that in the future I will go to them for counsel and encouragement when I just cannot encourage myself.

...the goal is to press forward, press on, to continue, to look to Christ, become more like Him...  It will not always be good and perfect, but we must continue because this life is short and He will come back.  There is eternity on the other side.

It is not always a delight to me to read God's word.  Especially right now that I just finished Exodus -from half way to the end specifically- and am going through Leviticus and then I have Numbers and Deuteronomy.  But like Ray Comfort said (I am slightly paraphrasing again), "It is not always a delight to eat vegetables, but I eat them because I know they are good for me."  In the same way, it will not always be a delight to read God's word, but we must because it's good for us -for our soul, for our lives-. We do not stop feeding our bodies.  We must not stop feeding our souls.  Only someone who had some kind of mental illness would stop eating.

As Christians, the word of God is what sustains us.  It will either keep us away from sin, or sin will keep us away from it.  We choose.  But if someone reading it is still sinning, then there is something they're not obeying.  ...We must not deceive ourselves.  We deceive ourselves if we are hearers of the word but not doers of it.  We must do what it says and obey His commandment -in this we show Him that we love Him-.

It was not too long ago that I really, REALLY started to combat the sinfulness of my own heart and saying no to whatever that was sinful in my mind or heart...  But this is how it is, AS SOON AS SOMETHING SINFUL COMES INTO YOUR MIND OR HEART, WHATEVER IT IS, IT MUST BE DESTROYED, TAKEN DOWN, PULLED OUT, KILLED, AND IF NOT ANY OF THOSE, LEFT TO DIE WITHOUT ANY OXYGEN LIVE.  As SOON AS it starts.

You must fight and win, preach to yourself, exhort yourself, reprimand yourself, advice yourself, counsel yourself.  Yes, we run to God, seek Him, talk to Him, beg Him, ask Him and everything else that has to do with Him, but you must do the others that have to do with yourself.  It is both depending upon God, and disciplining yourself as well.

We are soldiers in the army of the Lord.  He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world and greater than sin.  He has defeated sin & we are free BECAUSE of Him.  How then can we allow ourselves to be slaves of sin?  We can only be slaves of Christ who is a gentle Master.

If any sin, any thought that is sinful, any fantasy, inordinate affection, desire, any lust, passion -anything at all that is sin-, if it stays in our minds or hearts for a second too long, we are losing the battle, and what a life of its own does that one little thought reap.  It must be like a weed that is immediately pulled out as soon as it appears, so that the beautiful garden flower may be able to  grow.  Otherwise, we cannot grow in our Christian walk/life.

One step at a time, a day at a time, a moment and choice at a time.

God is a gracious God and His forgiveness is for RIGHT NOW in which He makes us white like snow.  Though our sins be as scarlet.  Now, we must go and sin no more.  We cannot do it on our own.  We must depend on Him and seek Him.  And as we discipline ourselves to this and whatever else the Lord requires of us, He will live through us.  People will think it's you, but it won't be you, it will be Him living through you.


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