Walk by the Spirit to Overcome Sin
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
One of the biggest misconceptions of Christians is that we have the ability to remove sin from our flesh by way of fighting it–we don’t. No matter how hard we try, fighting sin is an unwinnable battle. To prove this point, all we need to do is attempt to overpower sin by way of our efforts. All who try, fail. All who think they are succeeding, also fail due to self-righteousness.
As believers, fighting sin is not what we are called to do. We are called to simply walk out our spiritual identity. Sin is a parasite in our flesh, like a splinter. It’s not us, but it is in us, in our physical bodies. It can even cause us to have sinful thoughts through our brain. This is why Paul said:
“but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” (Romans 7:23)
Paul’s members are his hands, feet, and lips–his body. The law he is referring to is the power of sin, not the Mosaic Law. Just like gravity is a law that keeps us connected to this planet, sin is a law that is connected to our flesh. You can’t see gravity and you can’t see sin but both affect us humans every second of our fleshy lives. However, we, as Christians, are not of the flesh but of the Spirit. Paul tried to explain this enigma to the Romans:
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit…” (see Romans 8:9)
So until we shed this shell and get a new body–one which is not affected by this law of sin–sin will always be an option that is ready and available for us to choose from. This is why you can be sitting in a room all by yourself and have a sinful thought. Nobody even tempted you or said anything, yet, there it is: sin.
Like gravity, the law of sin is not the problem. Someone who commits suicide can’t blame gravity for jumping off a bridge and killing themselves. They chose that, gravity didn’t. So sin, when it presents itself to us we must simply not act on it. When we choose to act on the power of sin we bring it to life. Again, like gravity is a power, sin is a power as well because it is pushing at you at all times. The power of sin was introduced in the very first book of the Bible:
“…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (See Genesis 4:7)
Do you see that sin is an it? Do you see it’s an entity in itself? It is crouching, ready to pounce? And do you also see what we must do?…RULE OVER IT! How do we rule over it since it’s a part of our physical being, like a tumor in our bodies which won’t go away while we’re still on planet earth?
First, we must accept Christ as our Savior so we can receive our new sinless spirits (see Romans 6:6,7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20). Afterwards, we must walk by our perfect, sin-free spirits. Our focus shouldn’t be on continually knocking off the barnacle of sin. Instead, we should keep our minds set on simply being ourselves! Remember, we’re of the Spirit not of the flesh! We’ve been transferred out of Adam and into Christ! (See 1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 5:12,17).
Christ in us has defeated the power of sin as well as death which comes from sin (see Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57). So now all we have to do is be our true selves–a branch connected to Jesus who is the vine! (See John 15:5). Being ourselves as saints is the only way to overcome the sin in our physical members! Paul, after listing off what our lives will look like as we choose to walk by the flesh or by the Spirit of Christ in us, he tells the Galatians:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
As you can see, our focus shouldn’t be on constantly battling sin. Instead, our focus should be on being who we truly are inside: children of God! (See John 1:12, 1 John 3:1).
So today, my friends, know this: Refocus on who you are in spirit! You are sinless! You are holy, blameless, and blemish free! (See Colossians 1:22). Over time, as you realize this truth, you will see that the power of sin has no power over you at all! So be you today and sin won’t stand a chance!
A prayer for you: Good morning Lord! What a beautiful day you’ve given me! I want to thank you for the sound of singing, excited birds outside my window! How wonderful it is to hear their enthusiasm for this brand new day! Give me that same enthusiasm to spread your good news as I walk out my identity today! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who have been lied to about what Jesus has done for them in their spirits–which is make them brand new–renew their minds to this graceful truth. Help them to focus on their spiritual perfection so they will be able to overcome the sin of this world by being their true selves! They are heaven-ready spotless saints! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!