Subduing the Will
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your member as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 6:12-13). After Adam sinned, mankind turned selfish and self-centered. Before the fall, Adam lived for the glory of God, but after he sinned, he lived to please himself without considering God and His plans for him. The new birth transforms our spiritual lives. The nature of sin is replaced by the nature of God. But the residue of sin remains buried within the soul and must be rooted out! Paul made the appeal to the believers in Rome to dedicate their bodies to God, and to renovate their minds so they wouldn’t be pressured by the world to conform to its ways. The soul is composed of the mind, the emotions, and the will. The spirit wants to interact with the soul for the glory of God. The body wants to interact with the soul to fulfill its cravings. The soul is in the middle of a battle, and is the deciding factor between spirituality and carnality. If the mind is set on fleshly things, then the flesh dominates. If the mind is set on spiritual things, then the spirit rules through the soul. The battle of your life every day is to continually make the choice to walk in the spirit. To do this, you must guard the ears and the eyes from exposure to the lusts of the flesh. A decision for the flesh gives the residue of the old man in the soul permission to conquer the spirit! A decision to act on the Word gives the Holy Spirit through your human spirit control. The will is the king of the soul. Your will determines what you think about and what emotions you allow to run free. Your will determines whether you yield to the Spirit of God in your spirit by yielding to the Word, or whether you yield to the lusts of the flesh by allowing thoughts from past or from the outside world through the eye and ear gate to rule your life. Again, your will is the deciding factor! Jesus addresses the will in every gospel. If any man desires to come after Me, let Him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me (Matt. 16:24). Jesus emphasizes this truth. It’s mentioned in every gospel. To deny yourself, you must be willing to lay every thought, every emotion, and every desire at His feet by comparing each of these to the Word. Does some thought, action, or emotion violate the Word? If it does, then you must choose to say NO to it. We must die daily. That is, we must choose daily to yield our will to the Father through the Word. And then carefully choose what we give attention to in our minds and emotions. To do this, our wills must be wholly recommitted to the Father through the Word every day! Perhaps we should make David’s prayer in Psalm 19 ours each day: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer!