Sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Have you ever been in an arm-wrestling match? You and your opponent put your elbows on the table, and you are straining back and forth to push each other’s hands down. Just imagine that during an arm-wrestling match, your opponent is constantly taunting you: “Look at those scrawny arms! Don’t you ever exercise? How in the world do you think you are going to defeat me? Why put yourself through this pain? Go ahead and give up . . .” If you had to listen to all that trash talking long enough, you might be tempted to give up and let your opponent beat you.
Every time you are in the midst of temptation, Satan is doing his version of trash talk to you. But unlike your arm-wrestling opponent, Satan uses a variety of sources to deliver his trash talk. Sometimes the lies that come from Satan’s mouth are spoken through a television sitcom: “You are only human. Those desires you have are natural, and it is OK to give in to them. In fact, if you hold in your desires, you could actually hurt yourself.”
Sometimes Satan’s lies come through well-meaning but misdirected counselors who give advice like, “It is unnatural for you not to give full vent to your anger. If you are angry with somebody, do not try to bottle up your feelings. It would be healthier for you to give that person a piece of your mind you can afford to lose.” Or, “It is okay not to forgive somebody who has wronged you. They need to earn your forgiveness.”
Sometimes the lie that we cannot overcome sin comes from other Christians. They will say things like, “It is okay; we all sin. Even though you are saved, you still have that old sin nature inside of you. You can never habitually be free from the power of sin until you die and go to heaven one day.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Word of God says that salvation is not only for the hereafter, but the here and now. In Ephesians 6:17 when Paul talked about putting on the helmet of salvation, I do not think he was talking about our salvation from the penalty of sin so much as our salvation from the power of sin. Many times when we are in the heat of battle against the evil one, Satan will try to make us doubt our salvation. But right now God has already saved you from the power of sin in your life. That is the assurance you can have in the midst of temptation. When Satan is trash talking you, trying to wear you down, you do not have to give in.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Helmet And The Sword” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org