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UCB Word For You

Old and new

13 June 2021
‘The Spirit and your desires are enemies.’

The Bible says: ‘If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies…always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should’ (vv. 16-17 CEV). The battle between our old and our new natures is constant, so here are four keys to winning the struggle each day: 1) Be honest. Acknowledge that your flesh will always crave satisfaction in the wrong things – and it never takes a day off. 2) Be humble. Acknowledge that you’re powerless to win the battle without God’s help. By committing yourself to God, you draw on His strength in those first crucial moments of each test. And your ability to do that will grow as you practise this spiritual discipline. The closer you draw to God, the stronger you become when faced with temptation and trouble. 3) Be disciplined. This is a personal matter; no one else can do it for you. Paul writes, ‘You must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives’ (Romans 6:12 MSG). If someone else has to restrain you, it doesn’t work. 4) Be alert. As a soldier David should have known better, but Satan caught him off guard with his defences down. As a result he ended up committing adultery with Bathsheba, then having her husband put to death in an attempt to cover it up. When someone sins, we can often think ‘That wouldn’t happen to me.’ But the moment we let our guard drop, we leave ourselves vulnerable to attack, even in the areas we think we’re strongest. So let’s make the decision to stay close to God and not allow our old natures even a foothold in our daily lives.

What Now?

Make yourself a sign or image of those four points: Be honest; Be humble; Be disciplined; Be alert. Put it where you’ll see it at the beginning of your day, or make it the lock screen on your phone to remind you not to let your old nature win over your new nature.

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