11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,you will live.
Romans 8:11-13 NLT
I make excuses. I say, "I was just born that way." "I am an 'Allison' "(my maiden name and also the name which means you are inevitably strong willed, and always right.) Oh, it's so hard to own up to the things that I do that are wrong sometimes, but, the verses above clearly obliterates my excuses.
"You have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do." I have a choice and to me this is powerful. I don't have to yell when I have told my daughter to get dressed three times and now I see her, still in her pajamas and we are late. I do not have to get my feelings hurt or have it ruin my day when someone says an offhanded comment that really hurts me. I can choose truth and instead live by the Spirit of God that is inside of me.
Verse 6 of Romans 8 says, "... letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death." How many times have I chosen this path. I have just knowingly chosen to live in the flesh and the result feels like death and spews deathlike things to all around me for that day or that season. What happens to me most often is I lose all self control over my tongue and consequently become paralyzed in hurt, regret, and/or fear. Verse 6 doesn't stop at death, praise the Lord. The last part of the verses says, "...letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." O how peaceful am I when I chose to let the Spirit control my mind; I am filled with life: real and genuine life, active and vigorously devoted to God; I am filled with peace: the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation and therefore not fearing anything from God but being content with the life He has given me right now.*
Taking every thought captive to Him is the key.* I wish I was writing this as an expert or someone who has ultimate success in practicing this key to successful Christian living. Instead, I often find myself crying out to Jesus to help me because I have not obeyed this verse. However, when I do choose to stop; think; pray for His Spirit to help me, to live through me, to empower me die to my flesh, and then speak and act true life and peace do flow through me.
Today I want to chose life; I want to chose peace. I want to take every thought captive so I am praying this prayer:
Father, you know me, you see my struggles, you see my heart, you know the plans you have had for me to accomplish for your glory before I was born. God help me to live by your Spirit today. God please help me to breathe life and peace to those around me especially my family. God I can only do this through your strength. I know I need you. Put scripture in my mind today that will combat the lies of the enemy of my soul. Thank you Father. amen.