Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15
No one wants to admit who their worst enemy is because they would have to point the finger towards themselves. Personal desire affects everyone just as compulsive buying does. It becomes a spur of the moment decision to buy something they didnít need or want until they saw it. Whatever it was, it created a personal desire that overwhelmed our commonsense making our inner man our own worst enemy for not using our brain, as we should have.
Even well after the damage has been done the out of order sign never gets posted and for some reason we do the same things again and again. Its not like our brain is up side down or taking a vacation. The problem is located within the personal desires of our being. Most of the time the desire of our heart works overtime without commonsense or thought against the goals and priorities of our lives.
For example, you walk by the store that has the very ĎIPodí you wanted and noticed a sign saying today only $99.00. It is a deal to good to pass up and you have the money but it has been set aside for tuition, car repairs or rent. Your mind says I need this ĎIPodí and itís at the right price, but I donít have the extra money to spare. Your personal desires will remind you of the money you have put aside for the essentials. Then, your personal desires overpower your reasoning and tell you that you got to have it. Besides you can replace that money in plenty of time. However, the reality of life doesnít work that way and you have to scramble for the money on the due date. Weíve all been there and done it.
We all are trapped by our own personal desires that are capable of overwhelming our mind and common sense. In other words, our desires can overrule the things we consider important enough to set as life goals. Sin traps us in a similar fashion and because sin is a choice, sin is the outcome of failing to say no to your sinful desires.
Sinful desires operate on the same order, as personal desires. Unfortunately everyone has a personal desire but it turns out that your desire is a lion stalking the prey and without knowing it you are the selected target thatís on the menu.
No one ever sees the stalking desire of your sinful desires because they are always hiding in the corner of our minds just waiting for the right moment to pounce. Giving evil desires more than a passing thought is dangerous because of the nature of sin. Youíre always the prey and the lunch being taken for the ride back to the den where you will be devoured with the consequences of your desires.
Taking time to consider your evil desires really amounts to cultivating the weeds in your life into a crop that destroys the desired fruit that you really want. It never fails that sinful desire always bears fruit in the wrong place and at the wrong time Ė with you bearing the full weight of its aftermath. Taking control of your evil desires is therefore extremely important as good deeds are welcomed in heaven but sinful desires are not.
Have we ever considered that God gave us mind so we could have an intelligent conversation with him? Our capability of independent thinking has made man the apple of Godís eye. However, allowing sinful desires to control your thoughts is not only your own worst enemy but Godís as well. Nearly every disciplinary action God takes towards his children is directed at the way we think. In the same manner we as parents ask our children ďwhat were you thinking aboutĒ when disciplining our children. Therefore we must consider that good behavior is a byproduct of thinking in a precise and proper manner.
God has blessed every man with hindsight that enables them to see the mistakes they and those around him have made. With hindsight it is easy to detect those who are selfish and those who would give the shirt off their back to the needy. As parents we teach our children to share our toys with our brothers and sisters. However, our viewpoint on life changes when we have to earn the money to pay for everything. Its when money becomes like a rubber band and thereís no way to stretch the to the end of the week that the hand turns into a fist. However, hindsight seldom reveals that everyone is in the same boat and they have like problems.
The bible tells us that men and women have personal desires, which are used by our sinful nature to sin against God. The Sinful nature will strangle sound reasoning, when they overwhelms our thought life and allow our personal desires to control our life. Sinful desires focus your mind on things below and on you own creature comforts. The bible says
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5
In other words your priority is not in serving God or the people around you, but on yourself and whatís best for you. Your desires are like your first love, your eyes are blind to everything but whom you love. Though the circle of friends around you see a potential problem in your future, their are ears closed to your reasons and wonít listen to your advice. In the same way when you live to satisfy the sinful nature your eyes and ears will close and listening to your friends or Godís advice ceases.
On the other hand, when our thought life conforms to our fatherís way of thinking we will develop the behavior God wants. In other words our thinking must conform to our authority figure whether it be God, our parents or our boss to have the behavior they desire.
Paul said it so aptly when he wrote
and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:10
Finding out what will please the Lord is not as easy as it sounds. When you try to find time to hear from God, there will always be something that your personal desires deems more important. Therefore if knowing what will please the Lord is a priority in your life you will make seeking him an unbreakable lifetime habit.
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God but those led by the spirit of God are sons of God. There are no absolutes within the sinful nature but those led by the spirit of God are limited to deeds that are right just and fair to everyone. The sin nature does not love beyond its own need but God wants you to do things that will gain respect from other people.
The things God wants you to do are not always easy to understand but they can be understood when you take time to think about what he said. When you ponder Godís word, his words intertwine with yours and knowing his thoughts and ways soon become yours.
The continued process of learning what pleases God is exactly what Paul spoke of Godís desire that Christians renew their mind. Renewing the mind is changing the way you thought as a citizen of the world to the way God wants his children to think. Like being adopted you knew what your former parents wanted but your new parents want you to behave in a different fashion altogether. In the same way you have become citizens of heaven and the sons of God therefore we should learn to think accordingly.
For Christians his or her system of authority has changed to God and adapting to the Christian life means that we have to change our way of thinking to please our Father in heaven. Changing the way you think requires you to focus on God, to know his good and complete will. When you renew your mind you will be able to control the personal and sinful desires. While the sinful desires will never go away, seeking God and keeping his needs in the forefront of our minds can keep your desires under control.