by Stephen Altrogge
One of the most devious, destructive lies that Satan wants us to believe is that we are the products of forces outside ourselves. He wants you to believe that because your dad was an angry, vicious man, you too will always be an angry, vicious man. He wants you to believe that because you were mocked in school you will always care too much about what other people think about you. He wants you to believe that because of your biological wiring you will always be a slave to sexual sin.
He wants you to believe that you will never change.
That you are stuck.
That there is no hope for you to overcome.
You are the victim of your family and your history and your biology. That’s just the way it is, some thing will never change (see Bruce Hornsby).
Today God wants you and me to quit believing that demon spawn lie. We are not the sum total of forces outside of ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that we are the products of the Holy Spirit at work within us. In Galatians 5:16 Paul says:
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
My family history, life experience, and biology will certainly give shape to my temptations. For many years I have dealt with periods of intense physical anxiety, which can then lead to me being tempted by the sin of worry. But the Holy Spirit is at work within me, which means that my life is not defined by my physical anxiety. I may experience the symptoms anxiety for the rest of my life but I will not always struggle with the sin of worry like I do now. I am not the product of my biology I am the product of the Holy Spirit. He is working within me and WILL change me.
In 1 Corinthians 5:17 Paul says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
You are a new creation in Jesus Christ. That is your fundamental identity. Your dad may have been an angry man but that doesn’t mean that you will also be ruled by anger. You are in Christ. You are a new creation and the Holy Spirit is within you, conforming you to the image of Christ. You can be absolutely sure that you will change.
So quit dishonoring God by believing that you won’t change. Quit dishonoring the Holy Spirit by believing that He isn’t strong enough to overcome your biology. God is for you and in you! He delights in you and is committed to changing you! You a new creation in Christ. You’re not stuck and you’re not doomed.
Sin may be powerful but the Spirit is more powerful.