1 Peter 1: 6, 7 In which you all greatly rejoice, yet since for a little while it is necessary to grieve in diverse trials in order that the testing for approval of your faith, being more precious than gold, the one purified through fire, indeed when it is tested for approval, it may be found unto the praise and honor and unto an expression of a proper opinion at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
When we are solicited to do something that lacks in character, through this temptation, the quality of our faith is clearly seen. Are we truly taking God at His Word, or just saying we believe, but not actually willing to put it into action?
James writes, “ Count it all joy, my brethren, when you are encompassed by various trials (caused by solicitations to do that which lacks in character), experientially knowing that the testing for approval of your faith works our patience. And let patience have its work of maturity in order that you may be mature and whole, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
When we struggle with desires that we know are contrary to what we as Christians should be involved in, we should not fear them, but see them as opportunities to know if we are taking God at His Word.
Do you know how to have victory over your sin nature? Do you know that the sin nature is? If you know, are you applying it correctly? If you do not know, this is a very basic part of the Christian life, apart from which you will never live a successful life His saint.
So often we use a quality of law to defend against desires that are contrary to what we believe God wants for our lives, yet Scripture very clearly states that we are not under any quality of law and that law gives the sin nature strength.
So how do we fight these desires?
God states that because we have died with Christ and have been raised to walk in newness of life, the sin nature has been rendered ineffective in our position in Christ; therefore we are no longer slaves to obey its desires. When we walk by the Spirit – which is to govern the manner of our lives according to who we are in Christ – He states that we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.
If you do not count this to be true in your life and start acting accordingly, you will not ever have victory over these desires.
Obedience to God is not about doing a set of laws it is about being who you are in Christ, because this is what He said to do. When we simply take God at His Word and begin to act according to the way things really are, the sin nature has no strength and the Spirit produces desires in us that overwhelm the desires from the sin nature so that we have victory over it.
If we fail and therefore end up sinning – remember sin is always exterior to the body, never within the mind. It is an action, not a thought – then we really are not taking God at His Word. Only temptation is going to make this evident in our lives. We can say we will react in a certain way in a specific situation, but until we actually face that problem we do not really know how we will react. Temptation gives us the opportunity to know what our actions will be and to correct them when we fail.
Romans 7:8 … apart from the law sin is dead; 1 Corinthians 15:56; Galatians 5:16-18; Romans 6:1-6
Glory – to have a proper opinion
Temptation – a solicitation to do that which lacks in character