Have the benefits of your transformed life caused the memories of your previous lifestyle to fade? Do you remember what you once were before Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit entered your life? Can you recall the darkness before you experienced the light? As you see the lost around you, are you aware that apart from God’s grace, you’d be lost too ‘ right there amongst them?
Men, you should never wallow in, or be a slave to, your past. But, don’t ever forget where you came from, and how you were brought to where you are now. Paul told Titus: ‘Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy’But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.’
You’ve lived in sin. Your heart was acquainted with pain, hopelessness, and spiritual confusion. Remember, you were saved because of the love and kindness of God’period. You didn’t save yourself. And you weren’t saved because you were good, or because your life was so resplendent that God was put in your debt.
Don’t ever forget this, guys. It will keep you humble and it will give you hope for others.
Okay, guys, it’s time for a Pop-Quiz. Are you ready? When an e-mail with an obviously suggestive subject appears on your computer screen, what’s your instant reaction?
Do you feel a tug and wonder, ‘Should I open this?’
Or is it a non-event, and with a simple click you delete the message without a hint of struggle?
If you still believe that you have the right to choose your behavior, which means you’re feeling that tug and asking: ‘Should I open this?’ You’re opening yourself to Satan’s influence. And men, he’d absolutely love to influence you and take hold of your heart and mind.
He cajoles and lies. He’ll have you thinking about minimizing the risk and how to hide what you see so you don’t notice your heart slipping ever so subtly down the slope of lust. If you don’t look out, by the time he’s finished with you, you’ll respond with: ‘Yes, I should look at it; I can handle it.’
Therein lies the power of temptation, guys. But temptation loses its power if you don’t give it the chance to even get its foot in the door. Let God’s Holy Spirit into your heart and your mind. Spend time in God’s Word and with other Christian men. If you do, you experience the transforming of your mind, affection and appetites.
If you’re a Christian, it means the Holy Spirit is living in you. Sounds great ‘ but what does it mean? What does the Spirit do within you? Listen to what the Holy Spirit promises to be up to at this moment in your life:
‘Ezekiel 36:26 promises that He’s changing your hearts.
‘John 14:26 promises that He’s reminding you of what the Father has asked you to do.
‘John 16:13 promises that He’s guiding you and teaching you the truth.
‘Romans 8:13 promises the Spirit will turn you away from evil.
‘Romans 8:26 promises that the Holy Spirit will help you in times of distress and intercede with God for you when you’re confused and wearied.
‘ First Corinthians 12:11 promises that the Spirit has given you gifts to use for the glory of God and the good of others.
‘ Galatians 5:16 promises that the Spirit will lead you to victory over the sinful cravings of your heart.
These are precious promises. Claim them by faith’even if you’re not sensing all them in your life. Rejoice in these promises, and ask God to create in you a heart ready to cooperate with the transformation going on in you even as we speak.