For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. 2: 13.
We are aware that we must overcome our faults in order to move forward with Christ; we are also aware that our appetites and passions must be subjected to God’s will. . . . and deep in our hearts there is an earnest longing to be cleansed from every stain of sin, that we may come forth purer, holier, and happier from every trial which God permits.
That longing should lead us to seek God’s help. We must depend fully on Christ to help us to overcome our sinful natures for we cannot overcome our inner struggles without the help of God – God is man’s only hope. We must depend fully on God to help us to die to self daily because every other human attempt to overcome our human struggles without the help of God will leave us frustrated, and discouraged.
But how many times have we left the art of overcoming our inner struggles to God alone, forgetting that we too have a significant role to play in overcoming our darling or overwhelming sins?
Ellen. G. White vividly indicates that divine power and human effort are the key components that ensure success in overcoming sins. One will be ineffective without the other.
“Human effort avails nothing without divine power; and without human endeavor, divine effort is with many of no avail. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. . . . Those who walk in the path of obedience will encounter many hindrances. Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty.”
We must be conscious with our efforts to overcome sin and God will bless our efforts and give us the strength to actually overcome our inner struggles. We cannot sit idly by and say, “God will remove this habit from my life. All I am expected to do is stand still.” No. We must actively execute our faith in the power that God will give us to overcome our besetting sins. We must cry out to god to give us the strength and courage to say “no” to our sinful natures.
We must seek the compassionate Redeemer and allow His Holy Spirit to reveal to us the darkness of our character…we must then seek the grace of God and constantly keep Christ before us. We must guard our hearts and feed our souls on things that draw us closer to Christ. We must pray, believe and act upon the biddings of God on our hearts and we will move nearer and nearer to the standards of God. We must die to self, following Jesus all the way and new virtues will fill our lives.
There is a practical work to be done by the Christian who wishes to overcome.
(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette