Guest Author: Audrey Ericson
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. | Galatians 5:1
Life can be so . . . binding. You’re bound to your work, school, social activities, friends, family, pets (if you’re one of those people). But the Lord is refreshingly loosening. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, He frees you from the most binding thing in life—sin.
Now nobody likes to talk about it—Sin. It’s uncomfortable, messy even, because we associate it with (and with good reason) our sometimes-messy pasts and twisted currents. We don’t like it because it used to bind us, and maybe still does, in a cycle of temptation, sin and regret. With our human nature bent on sinning and our lack of power to stop, we were train-wrecks. Notice the past tense?
For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. | Romans 8:2
You, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, no longer have to give in to sin. Ah. It has no control over you, and you owe nothing to it. That doesn’t mean you won’t struggle with it. You will because that sin nature is still camped out in you. But because Christ made you free from the law that continually reminds you of how you can’t keep up with God’s holy standard, you don’t have to be defeated by sin. Instead, you have an arsenal against the sins that attack you. Whether those sins are overeating, looking at explicit things, fibbing to save face, you have POWER not to do them. That power comes from the Holy Spirit Who lives inside of you. What a blessing! But having power means nothing if you don’t use it. You can take full advantage of the Holy Spirit’s power by obeying Him when He prompts you. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to push you not to sin and to do things for God that don’t always feel comfortable but are right, and you know it. Listening to and, ultimately, obeying these “checks” is how you wield the Holy Spirit’s power. The more of yourself that you surrender to God, the more He can use you to accomplish His will.
How do you know if what you think you should do is coming from the Holy Spirit? He always looks to apply God’s Word. To obey the Him, you can ask yourself whether this thing you think you should do parallels what the Bible says. If it does, do it. Readily doing what the Holy Spirit prompts you to do like this requires an openness from you.
The Lord will bless His Word to your life if you’re open. The blessing from His Word is deep, cuts into your being unlike some material blessings like big paychecks and designer brands. The Lord can comfort you, motivate you, convict you, and inspire you through His Word.
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. | Hebrews 4:12
Would you be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading, ready to overcome your sin, if you knew that THIS kind of power is what you could access? Ephesians 1 tells us even more about this power’s capabilities: (v. 19-20)
…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.
The same power at your disposal was used by God to raise Jesus from the dead. Let that sink in. Through the death-defying power of the Holy Spirit, we can be free from our sin, not totally overcoming it in one fell swoop since we have our sin nature until we’re in heaven with Christ. But daily we can fight to overcome each nagging temptation, each onslaught of fear. Why not be open to Him?