When deciding how I will respond to an offense, a temptation, an opportunity to be less than honest or a thousand other daily decisions, I am deciding, “Do I want to be a follower of Jesus at this moment?”
Of course, I don’t usually realize that is the decision I am making. I think I am just deciding “What are the odds of me getting caught if I do this?” or “What’s in it for me if I do that?” But, in reality, this quote reminds me that I am deciding, “Do I want to be a follower of Jesus in this situation? When I see that as the decision, the answer is obvious. “Yes! Yes, of course I want to follow Jesus in this situation!”
I may not want to be honest because it could be embarrassing. I may not want to be kind because I am too busy or too bothered. I may not want to resist that temptation because obviously it is something I would enjoy. (You are never tempted to do something that won’t bring you pleasure or benefit at least in the short run.) I have one “wanter” – the will of my old nature – that wants to succumb to the temptation. But, deep within me there is another “wanter” – the will of my spirit – that wants to follow Jesus regardless of the consequences.
So which “wanter” will win – the sinful nature or the spirit?
The bigger and stronger one will win.
Which one will be bigger and stronger?
The one I feed the most.
Feed the spirit and your sinful nature will become weaker and weaker.
Feed your sinful nature and your spirit will dry up within.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.