Out With The Bad

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Change, Christianity, Decisions, Encouragement, Frustration, God's Love, Growth
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Have you ever been in a situation where you know you should give something up, but you find so much enjoyment in it, that you hold on for dear life? It’s as if that item or situation or whatever it is just grabs hold and won’t let go, right? As you can probably tell, I’ve been there.

This past Friday a few of my friends and I started the Daniel Plan Bible Study. During our session, we watched a video at the end about the foods that we have in our pantries. The hosts were sharing the items to keep and those to get rid of. At one point, they held up a jar of peanut butter. Now, they didn’t say to get rid of peanut butter altogether, just that certain peanut butters are just not good for you because of all the “extras” that are included – many of which are really just poison. I have to admit, my favorite peanut butter is Peter Pan Natural Roasted Honey Creamy peanut butter. In my opinion, it is THE best peanut butter in the entire world. I’ve tried to find something to replace it, but it holds a place in my heart that no other peanut butter has ever been able to touch. So, the moment I heard the words come out of the host’s mouth, I said, “I am NOT giving up my peanut butter!” Basically, I was saying, I’d rather keep eating that item that has “poisons” because I was not willing to part with something that probably isn’t all that great for me in the first place.

That got me to thinking. How often am I like that with my sin? How many times do I say, “I know I should give this up, but I’m enjoying it so much, I just can’t?” How many times have I continued to live in misery, knowing what I was doing was wrong, but feeling powerless to stop it? How many times have I given up what was best for me, to hold onto that sin? How many times have I said to God, “I’m so sorry, God. Help me to let this go and do better?” How many times have I turned right back to that sin?

Matthew 26:41 says, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (NASB). Granted, I know that this verse is Jesus talking to the His disciples, who had fallen asleep while He had gone to pray in the garden before his crucifixion. But it still applies. How many times has my spirit been willing to let something go, but the weakness of my flesh has taken over? I know I’m not the only one here. Even the Apostle Paul had something to say about that in Romans 7:14-20, when he says, “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flash; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me”(NASB). So, I want to do what is right, just like Paul did, but somehow, the sin that still resides in me tries to take over. It’s frustrating and painful to admit that no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to stop doing the things I know I should not.

The good news is that it’s not my power that has the ability to change things. God’s power has the ability to transform my life. There is nothing I can do past, present or future to change my nature. God already provided for that when He sent His Son. He works all things for good to those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Paul goes on to say in Romans 8, that if God is for us, who can be against us (vs. 31). He continues,He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:32-35, NASB). Did you catch that? “He didn’t spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all.” And that same Son that was delivered for us, NOW sits at God’s right hand, interceding for us! How amazing is that? That alone would be enough, but Paul didn’t stop there. He went on to say in verses 37-39,But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NASB).

In Romans 7, Paul talked about how he did the things he didn’t want to do, and didn’t do the things he did want to do. When he gets to chapter 8, he’s now reminding us, that we are “more than conquerors,” not because of anything that your or I could do, but because God gave His Son to die for our sins. Because of this, I now have Christ’s power in me, which means, I have the power necessary to let go of the sins that I have been holding onto. I don’t have to try to find it within myself. I need to look to my Savior. I need to remember who gave everything for me and is still there just waiting for me to lean on His power.

So, going back to the peanut butter, I realized that holding onto something bad for me when I was trying to do something healthier was probably not the best decision. So, the peanut butter is gonna go. I don’t want to hold onto the things that are bad for me. I need to let them go and move to something healthier.

What about you? What “peanut butter” are you holding onto in your life? Is there something you need to let go of in order to fully appreciate the power of God in your life? Perhaps, it seems like it’s too hard. Remember, you don’t have to do this on your own strength. Because of Jesus, you are already a conqueror.

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