Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
Are you struggling to be free from alcoholism, smoking, drugs, pornography or anything else that has kept you in bondage? You love Jesus. You love God. You love to worship and it IS indeed your genuine desire to walk in the fullness of God. Yet, you find yourself stuck in a rut unable to get free. After every few weeks of excellent fellowship with the Lord, you stumble and feel miserable. You carry a sense of guilt and condemnation and probably consider yourself disqualified for any significant service to God. You probably have even given up and concluded "this is not for you". Do not fret my friend. You are not alone. The bible says "No temptation has overcome you, except that which is common to man". (1 Cor 10:13).
The great apostle Paul explained this phenomenon in Romans 7: 14 - 25.
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
Doesn't that sound like someone struggling to be free? Does that sound like you? The answer is not in trying harder my friend. Victory doesn't come by trying harder, making a new year resolution or attempting a new program. True freedom from any bondage comes from "no condemnation".
In verse 24, we see Paul expressing disgust at his own body and his weakness, but then immediately after he thanks God who delivers him through Christ. Hence chapter 8:1 starts off with "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....." Your victory lies in perpetually resting in "no condemnation". In other words, do not let "guilt" and "condemnation" cripple you. You think its the alcohol, the smoking, the pornography, etc that is holding you hostage. No, my friends!! NO!!! That's a deception. In reality, its the guilt and self condemnation that is holding you hostage to the habit. Guilt and condemnation always frustrates you, because your own will power is never strong enough. It is only a matter of time when your will power fails and you succumb again. As long as you focus on your will power and the habit itself, victory will keep eluding you. True victory is in being conscious of who you are in Christ. True victory is in the revelation of Romans 8:1, which says "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....." Once you come to a realization of who you are in Christ Jesus, then nothing can keep you in bondage. Whom the Son sets free, is FREE INDEED!!!
Watch or feel free to download this 10 minute video. I believe this message has the POWER to set you free if you will listen to it everyday until it becomes a reality to you.
Walk in the fullness of what the Lord has made available to you. Don't let the enemy cripple you. You are a child of God. You belong to the kingdom of God. You have been made a king and a priest unto God. You are not of this world. Your new born again self is a citizen of Heaven. You were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Jesus Himself said "You are the light of the world". This is who we are. This is how God views us. A believer in Christ is a NEW creation, a creation that didn't exist before. You are not simply a better version of the old self. Your old self died with Christ and you were born again. This time not of a human dad, but born of God Himself. That's what makes you a citizen of heaven by birth. When Christ rose from the dead, you did too. When Christ ascended into heaven, you did too. When the Lord Jesus Christ sat at the right hand of God our Father, you did too. Ephesians 2:6 says "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us together with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,.."
The new creation that you are must now live by a different set of rules and privileges. We need to practice living like we are not of this world, but citizens of heaven. As citizens of heaven, as children of God, we have privileges and some of these privileges is "No condemnation for us" AND that God has given us all authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy.
In addition, 1 John 4:17 says "As He is, so are we in this world...". If that is so, then it is impossible for you to be in bondage to anything. All you need to do is, act like who you actually are; ie a child of God who has "no condemnation" anymore because you are in Christ and in fact you are like Him.
This takes a change of mindset. A change of mind from being a man separated from God crying out for help TO a man one with God as His child commanding victory in His life. Hence the word of God encourages us to be transformed by renewing our mind. Renew your mind by understanding who you really are as a child of God. Receive an abundance of His grace and His free gift of righteousness and reign in life. Romans 5:17
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind....." Romans 12:2
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.