I have been meeting more and more people who have received God’s gift of salvation but are still struggling with a lot of the same issues and sins that plagued them before they were saved. This troubles me and makes me want to be all the more clear in the things that I communicate regarding salvation.
Most people don’t stop to think that, when they got saved, it was their spirit that was made new. They didn’t get a new mind and new body. That’s why Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our spirit was changed, but we need to change the way we think. As we read the Bible, we learn God’s thoughts and ideas on every subject, and as we meditate on what He says, it begins to change our mind so we begin to see things the way He does.
Our body didn’t change either - and this is where a lot of people really struggle! Romans 7:23 illustrates how, once you are saved, your body (your flesh) will still want to do wrong things. Just like we need to change the way we think, we also need to choose to live based on what our spirit says, not what our body says. The Amplified Bible, in 1 John 3;9 says: “No one born [begotten] of God [deliberately and knowingly] habitually practices sin.” Because your new spirit will never agree with sin, you face the challenge of keeping your flesh from dominating your life with its selfish demands. Your spirit, where the life of God resides in you, must dominate your life.
Far too often, newly saved Christians do not realize they must deliberately choose to obey their spirit - not their flesh - and they get confused about the battle for control going on inside them. They give up and, even though they are saved, they go through life controlled by their flesh…and they feel miserable. That’s not how it’s supposed to be!
God put His very life and nature inside of you so that you can experience the joy and freedom of being led by the spirit! He loves you and has done everything He could to set you free from the devil’s grasp. Your spirit can dominate your life so the addictions of the flesh cannot control you like they once did. Remember:
~ Your spirit is saved and has God’s life and nature in it.
~ You can renew your mind by changing the way you think.
~ You can take authority over your body by listening to and obeying your spirit.
It’s a good idea for each of us to periodically evaluate and ask ourselves the question: “What’s dominating my life?” As a believer, you can start today to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of your flesh!