Learning To Say No

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin, as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:11-14)

When it comes to discussing temptation and sin, there is a big distinction that we need to make. Being tempted is not a sin. Just because you’ve been tempted doesn’t mean you’ve sinned. Rather, sin is what happens when you act on that temptation.

Part of being a human is facing temptation, but it is possible for us to have victory over our temptations with the help of the Holy Spirit. As we discussed yesterday, being filled with the Holy Spirit is the first step in preparing for the temptations that will come our way. With that in mind, we must also realize that a major part of refusing temptation is saying “No!”

I love how American humorist Josh Billings talked about this idea. He said, “Half the trouble of this life can be traced to saying no – or rather, saying yes too quickly, and not saying no soon enough.”

When Jesus was tempted with offerings of power, influence, and prestige, He refused. We must refuse our own temptations by saying “No” to the desires of our flesh and living by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

There will be more times than you can count when your flesh will try to convince you to give into temptation. Your flesh will persuade you to say or do something that contradicts God’s Word. But, don’t give in. Say “No” to the tempting desires of your flesh, and say “Yes” to all that God has for you as you choose to faithfully follow Him.

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