A movie line in a popular cable series says, “Everyone has a past.”
Yes, that’s true, but some are better than others.
What do we do when our past is one of the “bad” ones, we’re haunted by a shady life, and we constantly feel the choices we made years before hunkering around, ready to snap at our heels?
God says you are an overcomer. He tells you that you can be free of whatever past might haunt you.
You are a new person in Christ. You have freedom in the Savior, and you can chuck the old one out the door.
Sin is no longer baggage you must carry with you.
God’s Word gives you 4 stages you will experience in overcoming sin.
Stage 1 is found in Galatians 5:1.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Our first step is to stand up to sin. Put a foot down and say no!
Stage 2 is in Matthew 26:41.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Our next step is understanding that we will be tempted. We must watch so that we don’t invite sin to live too closely to us.
Stage 3 comes from Titus 2:11-12.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”
Third, we learn to say aloud, “I am a Christian, and that’s not for me.” It takes courage, and it reveals our dedication to our Christian lifestyle.
Stage 4 is revealed in James 4:7.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Our final step is where we quit trying and we just do. Resisting the temptations from our past gives way to our holy connection with our Father in heaven.
This is where God wants us to be, where we’re so into him that we aren’t even aware of where we used to be. We’ve broken through into a new life in him, and the old person we were is completely made new.
The closer we are to God, the easier it is to say no to sin.
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