Natural disasters continue to threaten us. Harrisburg was “shaken” (literally) by earthquake tremors, and now our residents have their eyes on hurricane Irene, which is scheduled to land on North Carolina on Saturday morning. The northeastern seaboard is on alert. Coastal New Jersey residents are taking precautions. The South Central Region residents of Pennsylvania are preparing for the strong winds that have been so destructive in many of our communities with past storms. We are on alert and preparing for flooding, power outages, fallen trees, and admonished to prepare emergency kits and stock up on drinking water.
We cannot prevent disasters of this nature. We can only prepare. So it is with our spiritual lives. The apostle Paul could not prevent the tempestuous storm on his sea voyage to Rome, but his walk with the Lord was such that the results of the shipwreck was a testimony of God’s care (see The Acts, chapter 27).
We noted in part 1 that, as believers in Christ we are a new creation, and yet the believer does deal with the flesh and its lusts. Romans, chapter six states that we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies. If it were not possible for the believer to be overcome by sin this admonition would not be in the Word of God. Sin does dwell in us, but it need not reign. There is a difference between dwelling and reigning. Sin dwells in that sin nature of a believer, but it reigns in an unbeliever.
The principle of power
This does not mean we have no power over sin, for although it dwells in us we have a principle of power over sin. “Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14 NIV).
Sin’s power over us is broken as we appropriate by faith the victory of the blood of the Cross of Jesus Christ. We have died to sin, and hence it has no claim over us. Christ died for us, and now He lives in us.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6 NIV).
The Christian’s greatest battle is perhaps in his mind or thought life. Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts. Once we invite Christ into our lives, our hearts belong to Him; but unless we guard our minds, we will find our spiritual lives contaminated with sinful thoughts, which ultimately lead to subsequent sin.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV).
Christians, we must shake off the works of the flesh until the world sees the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ residing in us. Utterly destroy this carnal work of the flesh – the Amalek in you.
Natural disasters play havoc with the environment. Spiritual calamities destroy lives.
This test may reveal who has first place in your affections:
- What is your first occupation when you arise? (Second, Third, etc.)
- Where do you prefer to spend your vacation?
- Do you spend time with the Lord every day? How much?
- What do you think about; talk about?
- Who has first place in your affections?