We must start with Galatians 5:16 which says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” We learn an essential truth in this verse. Our flesh lusts.
James 1:14 helps us understand the ‘how’ of our lust. It says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” Verse 16 says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” Lust is a deceptive ploy that lures us.
We only yield to a temptation if we have hidden fleshly desires. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” When we allow our eyes to stray, or we open our ears to gossip, the enticement increases exponentially.
James 1:15 says, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Temptation is not a sin. It is when we play with it in our mind, even knowing it is wrong, that we quench the Holy Spirit who was speaking at that moment.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “…hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” The Holy Spirit always leads us into truth. 1 John 2:27 described His work as, “…the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
It is when we abide in truth, making it our own, that releases His resurrection empowerment. Hebrews 13:21 says, “Make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
I love the word ‘working’ because it always reminds me of wheel pottery. The potter has to work water into the dry clay before it can ever be formed into a vessel. It is impossible to form hard clay.
That is what happens with hidden sin. Our heart (vessel) is impermeable without the water of God’s word worked into it. Our heart is our belief system. The lies we have believed are satan’s deceptive work.
It is only as we bring God’s word against that lie, that His resurrection power will ‘work’ to defeat the influence that lie’s control has had on our thought processes. As we renew our mind, He is at work to bring a radical inner transformation. Isaiah 32:17 says, “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”