The Nature of the Beast

I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. —Romans 7:18

Years ago we had a pet raccoon named Jason. One minute he would snuggle up on your lap like a perfect angel and the next he’d be engaged in the most fiendish antics. If unrestrained, he would raid the garbage can or tear up the flowerbed. Although he was a delightful pet, we became increasingly aware that his destructive actions were governed by his wild instincts. Jason would always have the nature of a raccoon, and we had to watch him closely no matter how tame he seemed to be.

Often when I observed Jason’s behavior, I thought of the sinful nature that we as Christians retain even though we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Paul referred to this as the “flesh” in which “nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). It may be restrained, but it’s always there. Unless we are daily controlled by the Lord, our old “self” will demonstrate its destructive pleasure-seeking capacity in some way.

Although we are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), we still possess the tendency to sin. But we don’t need to be governed by it, for we are united to Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. By obeying God’s Word and yielding to the Spirit (Romans 8:11), we can be victorious over the flesh—the nature of the beast within.

Mart De Haan   

Lord, I am learning of Your power
  To give me victory each hour;
  As I keep walking close to You,
  Your Spirit fills with life anew.

Hess

The Christian gains victory by starving the old nature and feeding the new.   

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