Saturday, May 4, 2019 -
God simply does not tolerate sin in our lives. He hates it. He despises it. And if we do not repent of it and turn from it, He will deal with us severely. This has been His pattern throughout history. And God is the same today as He was during the time of Judah and Israel’s idolatry and rebellion. But the difference now is that we, as believers, can depend on the Holy Spirit to deliver us from temptations that come our way. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38-39). Bible scholar Derek Prince said this was an outline of Christ’s requirement for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which the next verse says was set to be given. We first must be thirsty for the Lord. This means we must hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Secondly, we must come unto Him, for there is no other way to the Father (Matt. 11:28). And thirdly, we must drink or partake. For He said, “Whoever drinks of the water I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
So you see, we have the Holy Spirit whom God has provided for us who has unlimited power to thwart the enemy. But our hearts must be in tune with Him. Unless we feed ourselves of the Word we, too, will be given to all kinds of sin and passion like the Israelites of the Old Testament.
In the book of Amos, God pleaded with the people to repent and return to the Lord or face the dire consequences. What makes us think that we are immune to God’s chastising today? God even told them he hated their religious festivals and ceremonies, their sacrifices, and their songs of worship and praise (Amos 6:8), their corruption of justice (Amos 6:12), their taking advantage of others (Amos 5:11-12), and that they sought evil instead of good (Amos 5:14). Their sin was great (Amos 5:12) because they rejected God’s commandments and were full of lies (Amos 2:4). And so, we too should confess our sin against God, and turn everything in which we struggle with over to the Lord, for He has given us the Holy Spirit to combat the wiles of Satan. Micah said, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness” (Micah 7:9). This was prophetic and was accomplished through the death of Christ on the cross, where He bore your sin and mine. And so, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). And as Jesus promises in Acts 1:8, the Holy Spirit provides us with power. And only through the Spirit, if we fully surrender, will we have the power to overcome the temptation of Satan. We cannot resist on our own. It is a hopeless cause. But God in His mercy provides us not just the forgiveness of our sin, but victory over it!