I know you have been wrestling in your mind with sinful desires and secret habits and that in your heart you know you are losing the battle. I am writing to encourage you. You can overcome, but first you must prepare for the test: Our enemy, Satan, is God’s tester. He comes to you in the form of thoughts; thoughts are spirits.
When you are enticed by your own thoughts or the words of others, to do what is against God’s will (His Word), then you are being tested. This is called tribulation or affliction or being distressed by various trials. It may be a small thing that you are enticed to do: evil speaking, wrong thoughts or a “little” act of sin. Everyone is tempted like this. All the brethren around the world are being tested daily. When you give in and obey the evil idea, then sin is conceived.
God allows these tests so that the “proof of your faith” may be found to be real. Faith without obedience is dead. You prove you love God more than yourself when you deny yourself the momentary pleasure of giving into evil. Obtaining as the outcome of your faith and obedience, the salvation of your soul.
This is why I am writing; I want you to be unstained by the world and protected by the power of God. All those who are not committed to obedience are under the power of the evil one.
When you find yourself giving in to the Tester, God in His mercy has sent help, because He knows you are flesh and stupid and void of wisdom, except when you do exactly what He tells you to do. Then you become wise.
The wise man sees his folly and turns away from it “in his heart”. He commits himself to wage war against his own flesh, rather than let his flesh wage war against his soul. This is called repenting. When you turn back, God has said He will forgive your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He will also pour out His Spirit on you and make His Word understandable to you.
Battling against faith is the Testers only purpose on earth. If he can keep you from obeying the Lord (the Word) then he has stolen your faith. To have faith in God simply means to obey God in everything. He leads you by His Holy Spirit because you have made a commitment to obey one master alone. You cannot serve both your flesh desire and God’s holy desires for you. You must choose one- ONLY ONE! This is called the beginning of salvation. If you endure to the end in obedience, you shall be saved. Obtaining this salvation is a result of doing the will of God. If you argue against this, you are rejecting the Holy Spirit and the Word of God!
This decision to be born again to a living hope must come by way of revelation to your heart through the Word. The Word is the power of God to “form God’s image in you who believe”. If you say you are saved and are not daily hearing this Word and listening to the Holy Spirit to lead you in it, you are worshipping God in vain. The greatest commandment is to love (obey) God with ALL your mind, heart, soul and strength.
If you realize you have fallen into a ditch, it’s likely that you have been guided by a blind man and your own blind thoughts and that you are in the ditch together.
Jesus forgives more than 490 times each day if you are sincerely sickened by your failures and return to obey His will. Then He gives GRACE to you if you humble yourself and ask Him for help-crying out to Him who is able to save you from the desire to do evil. When the temptation comes again to do evil, speak to it in your heart: “No! I’m never going to do that again!”… “No! I’m not going to pick up that habit again…” “No!” Whenever I go there, I always end up doing what is wrong!”
By whatever sin you are overcome, to that thing you are enslaved. That is your sin – the thing that you do that is against the Master’s will. Wrestle with it. Cry out to God. Run from sin!
Say what the Word says. It’s the Word treasured in your heart, meditated on in your thoughts, and taught to you by the Holy Spirit, that is the power of God, which is at work in those who take it seriously. This is the power of salvation! The Word to those who are perishing is ignored. But to those who are being transformed into His Image, it is the true power of God!
Yes, dear friend, this is good news. You do not have to be a slave to your sinful desires and secret habits. You can overcome. You must overcome.
Your Friend in the Word
P.S. There only one reason why God may seem far away, and you are unable to hear His voice. It is because, in your heart, you are not really willing to do whatever He tells you to do…