We received divine power from God to enable divine living. We got this power because we entered into a relationship with him. When we chose to shift our allegiance to him, he chose to indwell our hearts. The indwelling begins a change in our hearts, a re-arrangement of our spiritual DNA, toward living as we are designed.
So, why does it seem so hard to give up sinning? There are several reasons. And they probably all contribute.
- Satan battles to maintain his grasp.
This is certainly true. His goal is to take as many with him as he can, to deprive god of glory, and create as much misery as possible. Whenever someone comes to Jesus, and his life is revolutionized be the gospel, there is a possibility that that person could become another Paul, Francis, Moody, Graham or Cho. Guilt can be a strong deterrent to love and faith.
Societies and cultures develop laws, norms, morals and expectations as ways to insure people are able to live and function together. Not only is there a tremendous inertia to these things, but there is usually a strong animosity toward those who propose and walk in a new way of life. The group resists and attacks change. For many, their identity and purpose originate in the group. Change can strike deep and threaten.
- Sin must be starved.
I read some years ago, that sin cannot be lopped off. It is entrenched too deep in the core of a person’s being. Even if the person of the God-head plants himself in the core of people, it takes time for the new spiritual DNA to recreate an individual. So, sin does not just die instantly. It is rooted out by sapping its life and energy. There is a simultaneous process of “putting off” and “putting on.” “Putting off” by not choosing to practice the things that go against God’s life; “putting on” by choosing to practice the new life. Each decision weakens or strengthens sin in our life. Choosing to resist Satan, the world and the old way of life weakens sin. Choosing to obey Jesus and God’s original design strengthens the new life. That’s why God is in it for the long haul with each person. He know renewal in this life will take time. And he is a lot more patient that we are.