Pastor Shane Ham : How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Always in Season · 47:43 · Recorded November 25, 2018

How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Romans 7:15, 18-19, 23-25 (Phillips NT) My own behavior baffles me. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do but doing what I really loathe…I often find that I have the will to do good, but not the power. That is, I don’t accomplish the good I set out to do, and the evil I don’t really want to do I find I am always doing… This is in continual conflict with my conscious attitude… It is an agonizing situation, and who on earth can set me free from the clutches of my sinful nature? I thank God there is a way out through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (TLB) And because of what Christ did, all you, who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit. His presence within us is God’s guarantee.

Galatians 5:16-17, 19-25 (NIV) 16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want… 19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

“Gentleness” is giving up control, while “Self-control” restores my control!

1. Accept a “conquered” lifestyle.

Yield to Christ’s right-of-way!

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 16:24 (NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Rely on his strength every day.

Colossians 2:6-7 (TLB) And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth.

Adopt his winning ways.

Matthew 11:29 (TLB) Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls.

2. Choose a restrained lifestyle.

Romans 8:13 (NCV) But if you use the Spirit’s help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.

When you’re angered.

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV) A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

When you’re tempted.

Proverbs 5:22-23 (NIV) The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

Romans 13:14 (NIV) Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

When you’re pressured.

Luke 4:16-18 (NIV) He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me.”

Romans 8:11 (NLT2) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.

3. Do it every single day!

Study & Discussion Questions

How close did your day come to illustrating the statement: I do not understand what I do?

In what area of your life is the spirit willing but the flesh weak: Diet? Work habits? Spiritual disciplines? Exercise? Other?

Which spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) are blossoming in your life? Which are still in the bud?

How does one know if God is trustworthy? Does such faith involve a “blind leap”?

When have you felt as if the “roots” of your faith in Christ were barely below the surface? What helps you to sink those roots deeper?

Is Jesus’ yoke resting lightly on you, or are you struggling to get out from under it? Why? Discuss with your small group.

Read Romans 13:14 aloud. How would your life be different if you consciously tried to “wear” Jesus Christ?

What does it mean to be “led by the Spirit”? How does the Spirit help us fight our battles? Give an example.

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