What do you do when you love the Lord and yet you are under the control of a stronghold of sin in your life?
Let’s talk about it… For I have good news…His love has made it possible to be loosed from those chains that bind you.
Jesus came to set the captives free, those who were held under bondage of sin. To those who received Him as Lord He gave the power over sin. Yet this power or ability to overcome sin is not just a gift nor an extension of power…It is the very nature of God Himself. Take a look at II Peter 1:3-4. Does it not say, we are partakers of his divine nature? Then, in Colossians, it states that we were joined in union with the Spirit of Christ. It is the ability of Christ in us that enables us to overcome.
In Romans 7 Paul cried out “Who will deliver me from this state of captivity to sin.” (Paraphrased) The answer: “Thanks be to Jesus Christ.”
We need to realize that “We can do all things through Christ Jesus.” This first of all refers to His ability to help us over come the flesh nature that seems to have us bound. The wonderful thing that God did for us was not to contend with the flesh and then when we were righteous enough fill us with His Spirit. He took the penalty for sin and its consequences and paid them in full so that sin had no claim upon us, in doing so He made us righteous because we stand on the righteousness of Jesus. Being made righteous in Christ, He then put the Spirit of Christ in union with us so that together Christ and us, as a new creature, a union of our spirit and the Spirit of Christ, we now can work together to overcome the flesh from within. The flesh is no longer a problem once we acknowledge the Spirit of Christ within us and His purpose to make us Holy one step at a time.
We can only be Holy through Him and remain Holy through Him working within us.
We grow in Holiness even as we grow in relationship with Him. “Where I am weak He is my strength.” As we take our short comings to Him and ask for His help, He engages the problem with us. Regardless how many times we fail He does not condemn us rather He is there to join us again and again until we have the victory over the problem. He brings us to the next problem and deals with it until we conquer it and then to the next problem and the next.
A stronghold can be overcome by the same method.It is only a stronghold because we have given it authority in our lives and it resists our weak efforts to refuse it place. It has become exercised by use and grown strong by exercise and must be brought low by giving it into the Hands of the Greater One Who indwells us. He met this problem (and all others) on the cross and striped of its power. Confronted by Christ it will quickly bend its knee to its Lord.
Freely submitting it to Christ is not to give up your need to fight by His side. You have your part to play.
You need to understand why the problem has been readily attached to you and so difficult to get rid of.
If you had not had a need you would never have endorsed the problem as a solution to your need. When one is lonely for a mate he has a need within himself which he desires to fulfill. It is easy to substitute Lust for a need to be loved. The problem with this substitute is that it opens the door to a spirit of lust which can constantly present thoughts to your mind throughout the day. You opened the door to Lust as a substitute to meet a longing within your soul. It does meet that need for a season but it cannot fulfill the need. Your need more and more of the substitute to take your mind of your real need that isn’t being meet. Soon the soul becomes addicted to the substitute and the substitute becomes a stronghold.
By turning to Christ, Who is able to meet all your needs, you begin to receive what you soul really needs. As the need gets met bit by ever- increasing bit, the hold of the substitute becomes weaker and ever weaker until it is no longer a stronghold but merely a constant temptation. As your relationship grows in Christ, even the temptation loses its appeal.
The Love for God grows within you as your relationship with Christ grows within. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
The love for Christ gives you the fulfillment necessary to deny the substitute because you no longer need it. It has lost its appeal to you. The spirit of lust which you readily listened to has lost his ability to influence you and apart from you opening the door for him, he has no power and certainly no authority of his own to force you to listen.
How does one enter into an relationship with the Spirit of Christ which indwells them? Simply by acknowledging His presence. All the crying for mercy and begging for forgiveness, all the fasting and praying, all the altar calls and the laying on of hands Can Not Do what acknowledging the presence of Christ in you Will Do. For once you have made contact and know His presence in you, you will begin to grow in faith that He will never leave nor give up on you.
Whatever the weakness or lack that made way for whatever substitute you embraced, He can begin to fill that need and be the strength in place of that weakness. He brings you to the place that as you are able to embrace Him in love. He removes the substitute from you, and He takes its place. Once He takes its place, it can not return until He has been removed. You may stumble and fall, but He is ready to forgive and strengthen you again and again, enabling you to walk more perfect day by day. The day will come when you are more than a conqueror. You become able to minister the salvation you experienced to another, and in doing so you become a deliverer. You are able to shed that love in you which made you an overcomer to another, sowing the seed of victory into their life.
You simply acknowledge His indwelling of you by sitting quiet and thinking of His presence in you. You quiet your thoughts and just acknowledge Him. You do not have to praise Him, nor address Him in any way. Simply acknowledge His presence. Allow Him to address your quiet mind and bear witness to Himself. You may not be able to quiet your mind for more that a minute at a time at first, but eventually you will be able to grow in time and in His presence.
He will make Himself known to you. He will bear witness to Himself. He will establish Himself by addressing the foundation of the Word that you know. In time he will ever increase that foundation of the Word through personal revelation of the Word to you in your quiet time. He will establish the Word, line upon line, precept upon precept. He said, “ If MY Word abides in you, I and My father will come and abide in you”. By acknowledging His presence you open the door for Him to abide in you. By being quiet you give Him the place to address you through the thoughts of your spirit. He will speak to you through your spirit and He will speak so clearly at times that you will hear it as if He spoke to you audibly. Be persistent and your diligence will be rewarded. Remember He has already made you righteous and acceptable to Him, He is waiting for you to invite Him into your daily life and into your thoughts.
Once you begin to experience the Lord in your life you will find the power of the world’s influence begin to fade. He desires to utterly consume you to the point you can say, “I was crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, but not I but Christ liveth in me.” This was the whole point of the gospel, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” That glory is the manifested presence of Christ in your life. It is not difficult. In all things you acknowledge Him. When you are lonely turn to Him for comfort. It may not seem to met the need of the soul immediately, but it will give the life that the soul craves for. The soul must learn to adjust over a period of time to receive from the spirit the life that it is lacking. As that life begins to quicken the soul it becomes more and more ready to turn to the spirit for its needs. It becomes more spirit dependent than flesh dependent to the point that it is ready to be led by the spirit and not the desires of the flesh.
“Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.” becomes a reality for you. It is a process that you put into motion. God has done all that He can do on your behalf until you begin to acknowledge what He has done and begin to walk in it.