The Apostle Paul - “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2)
In yesterday’s devotion, we learned about how we can overcome our sinful natures by fleeing temptation and living by faith. Today, we’ll explore other ways to overcome our sinful natures. Often, we give in to our sinful natures because others around us are doing the same. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) It’s imperative that we choose good friends because bad friends are going to lead us astray. We should be friendly with almost everyone, even the ungodly. Even Jesus was a friend of sinners. But those we allow to be our best friends should be those who know, love, and live for the Lord and who will encourage us to know, love, and live for the Lord as well. George Washington once said, “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. For it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
We also overcome our sinful natures by renewing our minds. The Apostle Paul once wrote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2 NIV) So, how do we accomplish this renewal of our minds? First, we renew our minds by learning God’s Word. We do this by hearing, reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. The Psalmist writes, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) This means we need to daily reflect on God’s Word to the point that it becomes a part of us.
We can renew our minds by having godly thoughts. We usually end up doing whatever our minds focus on. If we focus on ungodly thoughts and desires, we will end up engaging in ungodly activities and living defeated lives. The Apostle Paul writes, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) A person whose mind dwells on ungodly things becomes ungodly. But, a person who focuses on good, positive, and godly things begins to live a good, positive, and godly life. It all begins with our thought life.
Finally, we overcome our sinful nature by surrendering to God’s Spirit. The Apostle Paul once wrote, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16) The Holy Spirit reminds us of who Jesus is to us and what He has done for us, and will convict us of our sins and keep us out of trouble.
Followup Activity - Review the list of sinful natures you made yesterday. Then review the ways to overcome sinful natures in yesterday’s and today’s devotions. Finally, pray and ask the Lord to show you which way to take to overcome your sinful habits. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide them through the above exercise individually.
Prayer for Today - Lord, in whatever way You desire, help me to overcome my sinful nature. In Jesus’ name, Amen.