Jesus saw satan coming towards Him. John 14:30 says, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” Jesus was not born with a sin nature like you and I. He had no past. Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or every You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
There was nothing in Him that could give satan any influence. On the other hand, that is not true of you and I. Ephesians 2:2 says of every one born, “In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
How do we know if there is something in us that would allow satan’s influence? Jeremiah 17:10 says that our hearts are deceitful. James 1:22 gives us a clue. It says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
What part of the word are we only hearing but not doing? That is where we begin. Verse 23 is very explicit. It says, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror.” God’s word is our mirror. It perfectly reflects our progress of sanctification. Any fleshly reaction reveals that there is ‘something’ still within us that does not exemplify Jesus.
Please understand that I am not talking about perfection, but rather maturity. Everything in our life boils down to the essence of our relationship with the Lord. 2 Peter 1:3 says that through our knowledge of Him, His power is activated. Verse 8 says that when we add the inner grace gifts to our faith, “…you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit what is IN you that blocks you from reflecting Jesus when your will is crossed, your rights are violated, you are in pain (emotionally or physically), you are frustrated, someone cuts in front of you too close as you are driving, etc. You can add your own triggers.
What triggers a fleshly reaction in the present, is a strong indicator that there is something that needs to be confessed and released. Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, or buried offenses all feed into our thoughts processes. They are called unresolved issues.
Proverbs 4:23 helps us in our progressive sanctification. This is a ‘doing’ verse. It says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
Here is another ‘springing up’ verse. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many are defiled.” God’s word is our shovel to uproot and destroy strongholds in our mind that negatively influences our character. Let us be doers of His word and not hearers only.