The Apostle Paul - “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Overcoming our struggles with our sinful natures begins with activating personal moral inventories. This means taking time to do thorough self assessments where we ask ourselves the hard questions about ourselves - “What’s wrong with me? What do I regret about my life? What makes me feel guilty? What do I feel remorseful about? What are the faults in my life that I know need to be changed?” This means to pray, like the Psalmist - “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test my thoughts. Point out to me anything You find in me that makes You sad.” (Psalm 139:23-24) Making this thorough inventory will help us uncover our faults so we can begin to experience healing and recovery in our lives.
Overcoming our struggles with our sinful natures also begins with accepting responsibility for our faults. The greatest hold up to our healing is us. We have to be radically honest by being willing to say, “I’m the problem.” Most of us think, “If I change my relationships, my job, or my town, then everything will be fine. The only problem is, wherever we go, we’re there, and we keep messing things up. The Apostle John writes, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not within us.” (1 John 1:8 NIV) We need to quit trying to escape and quit making excuses and simply admit responsibility for our faults.
Overcoming our struggles with our sinful natures begins with asking God for forgiveness. The Apostle John writes, “If we freely admit that we have sinned, we find God utterly reliable… He forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil.” (1 John 1:9) If we freely admit our guilt and sin, God will forgive us and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We don’t have to beg, bribe, or even bargain with the Lord. All we have to do is believe.
Followup Activity - Begin the process of overcoming your struggles with your sinful desires by starting your personal moral inventory. Find a journal, a Google file, a Word document, or even a blank sheet of paper and begin answering the questions in the first section of this devotion. When you finish, walk through the process of admitting your faults and asking the Lord for forgiveness. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide each member to complete this same exercise.
Prayer for Today - Lord, lead me as I evaluate myself, admit my faults and ask for forgiveness. Give me strength and courage to follow You completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.