Christians will immediately say powerful, without a doubt, and as a Christian I too will agree! Yet most Christians live their lives as if it’s powerless. Oh, we have no doubt about Christ’s blood having saved us from sin and the judgment to come, but actually living out the commands of Christ, wait just a minute! We’re human you know; we can’t deny our humanity! No, we can’t, but we are to put our humanity to death! So why aren’t the majority of Christians doing so?
We’ve lost sight of the power living within us: Jesus Christ! It’s easy to believe He redeemed us, cleansed us, and forgave us. Why can’t we believe the rest of what salvation gives us: the power to overcome our sin! If we are true Christians, then Christ lives in us via the Holy Spirit, right? And if the Holy Spirit is with us then who can be against us! God lives within us, convicting us, and wanting to change us to be more like His son: Jesus Christ. Would God actually tell us to do that which we couldn’t? No! Of course, it’s not us, but Him in us doing the work, yet just as God causes the seed to grow when the farmer plants it, He changes us when we want to be changed! Not when we desire to change, rather when we are determined to change.
We suffer not from a lack of power to change for the Creator is in us, rather we don’t believe He will change us. The times we do believe and don’t change can be directly related to those issues we don’t really want to change or those, which we don’t exercise discipline to remove. If we truly wanted to change, God would change us. I know this as fact in my own life. There have been sins I was determined to end and God took them away, well there were also sins I desired to change; yet deep within my heart, if I were truly honest, I still wanted. Then of course there are the sins that require me to exercise my muscles so to say: use discipline to overcome. No one can become an Olympic gold medallist who doesn’t first endure severe training. Paul warned us of this. Telling us to train ourselves unto godliness.
Scripture is clear where the power comes from to overcome and that we are an intricate part of overcoming! Once redeemed by Christ, the Holy Spirit and all His power lives in us, but God will not force us to Change. He does at times “strongly encourage” us, but the choice of obedience and the discipline of follow through is left in our hands. Just as Adam and Eve had the choice to eat or not eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Why the Almighty would leave such a responsibility in our hands is mind-boggling!
We have the perfect example of this found in the life of Christ Himself. Many say, “well Christ was perfect because He is God and we’re not.” This is only partly true. While Christ is God, Christ’s obedience was not due to Him being God for we are told in Philippians that Christ emptied Himself of His God-ness and became the from of a man. Christ as God, limited His powers to that of a man, thus He was forced to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to obey His Father just as we are. If Christ had not limited Himself to that of a man, He could hardly have understood what mankind suffers via temptations and Scripture tells us Christ knows what is it to be tempted and did not sin.
We have the same Holy Spirit within us! Therefore we can overcome our sin!! The question is not if we can overcome, rather do we truly want to lay down our sin and do the will of our Father who is in heaven?