Summary: Who’s In Charge of Your Desires? (Rom. 6:12-14)
Who’s In Charge of Your Desires? (Rom. 6:12-14)
Illustration:Former pro basketball star Bill Bradley tells that at the age of 15 he attended a summer basketball camp that was run by Easy Ed Macauley, a former college and pro star. "Just remember that if you’re not working at your game to the utmost of your ability," Macauley told his assembled campers, "there will be someone out there somewhere with equal ability who will be working to the utmost of his ability. And one day you’ll play each other, and he’ll have the advantage."
1. Have you ever wondered why some people seemed to be controlled by their bad habits?
Many people say, "Oh, that is just a bad habit I picked up along the way."
Paul teaches us in this passage how to overcome the tendency to be controlled by sin.
He writes, "Therefore, let not sin rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to it cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions." (vs 12)
Paul is saying that we must not let sin reign (have authority, rule, control, occupy, hold sway, prevail) over us.
Paul uses the present tense that carries with it a continuous attitude and behavior of control.
A Christian has a choice to let the Spirit control our decisions or to yield to our sinful human desires.
Paul urges Christians to stop offering the authority of their decisions to their lower nature (Desiring wealth, position, power, fame, lusts of the flesh and eyes, prideful things) but instead to offer the control of their thinking to spiritual purposes (Desiring His kingdom and righteousness, truth, love, grace, faith, hope, peace, evangelism, disciple-making and edification).
Unless a believer is seeking to actively surrender the control of His mind to righteousness it is inevitable that they will give in to the desires of the flesh.
A Christian is to resist sin by standing against it and fighting it with the word of truth. Jesus did this in Matthew 4.
He used the word of God to fight the desires of the flesh along with the world and the devil.
Ask the Lord to help you follow Paul and Christ’s example in refusing to yield to sinful desires but choose to yield to your faculties to God.
2. Paul teaches us that we are not to surrender to our lusts (cravings and passions).
We are constantly pulled in the direction of our either our sinful or spiritual desires.
We live in a world that is constantly trying to pull us toward pleasures.
Only a spiritually growing Christian will have the power to resist the enticements of possessions, security, positions, pleasures or fleshly stimulations.
Too many people allow these desires to control and order their lives.
Ask the Lord to help you feed your spiritual nature to help it grow while depriving the sinful nature of its appetites.
3. Paul teaches us that sin offends God. Sin desires to rule our thinking.
Sensual appetites control many people in conscious or unconscious ways.
Too many Christians allow their sinful desires for comfort to control their decisions. Paul said, "I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself so that I may complete the work God has called me to do." (Acts 20:24)
Paul urges us not to allow our bodies to give into the enslavement of sin since we are no longer under the law, but are under grace.
Sin has the power to corrupt and ruin a person if they yield to it. In the days of Paul a slave belong to his master.
Paul teaches us to give ourselves over to the authority of God to determine what is the best way to use our time, talents, and treasures.
The trouble with most people is that they think they can give into sin occasionally not realizing that they are transferring authority out of the Spirit’s control and into the control of their sinful nature.
Sin is cruel taskmaster that seeks to destroy, corrupt and ruin its slaves. You would not give the keys of your car to a lunatic and tell him to drive it wherever he wanted.
A Christian who expects God blessings, can have no master but God. He cannot give a part of himself to God and another part to his evil desires.
Ask the Lord to help you yield 100% of your mind, attitudes, emotions and will to Him.
4. Paul teaches us how to yield to the grace of God.
We are to yield to righteous desires, purposes and processes, regardless of how difficult they may seem. Be careful of what programs you watch.
Guard against exposing yourself to magazines, conversations or input that may tend to entice you with tempting pleasures.