Controlled by Sin
This is Day 33 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." (Romans 8:5-6)
It takes a conscious effort not to sin. Yes, it also takes God's grace, but it takes effort on our part as well. When we just let our minds go wherever they will they will inevitably end up in bad spots. This displeases the Holy Spirit. We must discipline our minds to avoid sinful thoughts.
To God, lust is just as wicked as adultery and hate is just as bad as murder. Our thoughts matter. So when we let our minds run away to anger, lust, hate, self righteousness, gossip, vanity, etc. we are letting sin control us. We must clear our minds of all impure things and focus on good things. We must think of humble things, loving things, beautiful things, peaceful things. Then the Holy Spirit will be in control leading to life and peace.
We cannot do this alone. We need God's grace. We must ask the Lord to take over our thoughts and cleanse them of any impurities. But we must ourselves also reject our sinful, ugly thoughts. And when we do the devil will flee from us.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Peter Puckett series, a Christian children's fantasy that explores what it means to know and love Christ through exciting adventures. His books and blog can be found at rcvanlandingham.com.