Overcoming the old me!
My brothers and sisters, despite what we look like in here this morning, we have all made some mistakes in our lives. We have been places and done things that we wish we would have never done. Now that you are saved there are so many people who would lead you to believe that they have it all together, but Paul lets us know here in this seventh chapter of Romans that everyone will have a daily struggle with sin and the old nature as long as they are in this body.
Every day that you live sin tries to reclaim you as its slave and cause you to begin again to try and satisfy the lusts of the flesh. Sin, is constantly mounting a military campaign against your new found spiritual life in Christ, trying to pull you back to being carnally (fleshly) minded and ultimately gain victory and control of your thoughts and actions, because you adversary knows whatever or whoever has control of your mind; has control of you! Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh, so is he”. But, I come to let you know this morning that you can overcome the things in your life that sin has you battling with. I know everybody wants to live and do better and the harder you try to do what’s right the easier it seems to do the wrong thing, but you can overcome. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” While you think on this verse there are three things you must remember.
1. You have to change your thoughts!
You can’t fill your mind with all the junk of this world and expect God to be able to use you or even overcome the temptations you face. You have to bring all of your thoughts into obedience of God and his word (you have to train your mind). 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” But this can only happen when you change what you think about. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.”
2. When evil or sinful thoughts rise up you have to push them down!
Well reverend, how do I push down those sinful or evil thoughts? I’m glad you asked! Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” You can push them down by meditating on God’s word. Psalm 119:11says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” Most importantly, you push them down when you stop hanging around those people and places that cause the temptation to rise up. What do you mean reverend? Well, if you are trying to quit drinking why are you hanging around the bar? 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." My brothers and sisters, the reasons you often continuously fall into the same hole of temptation are because you continue allowing your mind to wander down that same road! I don’t know about you but it is time to transform your mind.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,”
3. Put it in God’s hands (v.24-25)
Sin and its attacks had taken a toll on the life of Paul. Everything he tried to do seemed to only put him closer to the things that he hates doing. It was this sin problem that caused him to cry out in verse twenty-four and say, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Sometimes, when you look at yourself and see all of the times you walked down that same road that leads to temptation over and over again, you have to cry out like Paul did in this twenty-fourth verse. Oh, but is there anybody here who knows there is something about God’s! Hymn writer said, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” In those times when you feel like you can’t make it look to Jesus! Psalm 121:1 says, “A song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills-- From whence comes my help?” Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Dr. Charles Hayes said it like this: “All in his hands, I put it all in his hands. This and that, I put it all in his hands. He can handle it that’s a fact; I put it all in his hands. No matter how great or small he’s the master of them all.
Do you have any rivers that seem uncross able? Do you have any valleys you can’t tunnel through? My God specializes in things impossible and he will do what no other power can do!