“For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
When we get to the end of ourselves, and we cry out to God in desperation to set us free from sin and reckless living, that is when we can become truly transformed by Christ.
Dieing to self is hard. It is painful. It is the pruning work of God to bring a new creation in Christ.
The old self is stubborn and wants us to stay in bondage.
When we become a new creation in Christ, the old life of stubborn sinful habits makes us want to be set free.
Living in bondage to anger, jealousy, doubt, insecurity, anxiety, depression, lust, greed, alcoholism, gluttony, and the list goes on does not appeal to us anymore.
As a new creation in Christ, we long to be led by the Spirit of the living God.
God often humbles us and brings us to our knees to teach us the new way of living.
This breaking, this molding, this shaping is welcome in the believer’s heart, and change is wrought.
We can be thankful when God does His pruning work in our hearts.
And we can choose to be led by the Spirit of God or we can choose to lead ourselves in stubborn pride.
We can be like mules or sheep without a Shepherd if we don’t bend to the Lord’s leading. In the end He will,
break us if we don’t become clay in the Potter’s Hands.
So we keep going back to our faithful Father and ask Him to bring change.
We go again and again and again.
Slowly, the old habits, the stubborn sins, are subdued by the Spirit of the Lord.
As we die to “self,” Christ raises us to newfound freedom and a better way of living.
Have you ever had a time of transformation that was painful?
Perhaps God was shaping you to learn to put off the sinful habit of insecurity.
Or maybe you needed to learn about God’s love being enough, so God weaned you off of people’s praise, or love.
Whatever the stubborn sin might be, God is ready and willing to break it off as you cooperate with Him.
In my life, I have had to learn to “put off” anger. That was no simple task, since most people have a certain struggle with anger.
As God used me for His purposes, He didn’t accept that sin in my life any longer. It had to be “put off.”
That was a painful lesson, but I am thankful I learned it.
What about you?
Perhaps you have never struggled with sin? Now, with that question, I meant to prick your conscience.
Are you so insecure you doubt God will come through for you?
Do you pressure yourself to perform for the praise of others?
Are you the one who holds onto a grudge and struggle to forgive?
Or perhaps you struggle with a habitual habit, such as a longing for drink or food or sex?
One more bite, one more sip, and then life will be better.
Certainly we all need to get to the end of selves and die to our sin.
The hope is that God meets us in our struggle. We are not alone.
As we ask Him for His grace and power to overcome, He will help us.
I remember asking God to help me “put off” a certain sin, whatever it took.
Now that was a journey in dying to self. Wounded pride. All for the betterment of myself for God’s glory.
If you want to share in the comments about the sin you had to learn to overcome by God’s grace, that would be welcome here.
We can be open about these things so that people don’t have to hide but come out and ask for help to overcome besetting sins.
So in the end, when God sets us free from sin (we will never be perfect though) we must cooperate and do our part to change. We make the choice to work with God to overcome sin.
And then when we realize that sin has no hold on us anymore, we really are free.
Free to serve Christ and to find happiness in His service.
There lies true freedom, dear reader, for you and for me.
If Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed.