We love doing what we feel like doing. What are some questions we ask ourselves when we have some free time in front of us?
“What do I want to do?” “What do I feel like doing?” “What feels good right now?”
Oh what a disastrous question that could turn out to be.
Yeah, sometimes what feels good is a good thing, even a godly thing. But we would be better off as Christians if we checked our natural inclinations and natural feelings before we moved forward with satisfying them.
One guy in the Bible who didn’t do that was Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:1-2 records:
Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.
You can read the whole story for yourself in 2 Samuel 13:1-22. Basically, Amnon raped Tamar, shaming Tamar for life. Amnon earned his brother Absalom’s hatred, leading to his later murder on Absalom’s orders. Amnon sinfully sought after his half-sister Tamar because of his feelings, his natural desires. Absalom ordered Amnon’s murder because of his feelings, his natural desires.
That’s just one example, but doing what feels natural to us if not always a good thing. Sin is natural to us. Sin is what feels right. Sin is that which we feel like doing oftentimes. I know not everyone is naturally inclined to murder and rape. But what about lying? Cheating? Lusting? Pride? Often we engage in those sins because it feels right, feels good. And it leads to more sin and more sin.
We were born that way. We were born with a sinful nature, a nature that desired death. When we were saved, God changed our heart, pushed us towards obedience by putting the Holy Spirit within us. But we are still sinful people, still seeking after the desires of our own sinful flesh.
Speaking to Christians who were being persecuted for their faith, Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:11,
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Peter calls his readers to abstain from the passions of their flesh, of their natural bodies. They’re waging war against our souls. Our natural desires, our “passions of the flesh,” are vehemently opposed to how we’re called to live as believers in Jesus.
So we should just be able to do this, right? NOPE. It’s hard. It’s really hard. If fighting sin was easy, then it wouldn’t really be fighting; it would be more like walking through a bed of flowers, nothing, no real hindrance or obstacle. But killing the flesh, seeking righteousness, it’s hard.
Truth is, I don’t think it was ever meant to be easy. If it were, we wouldn’t need Jesus to help us fight our sins.
You know the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6? It starts in verse 10 with this command: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” We can’t fight our natural desires without finding our strength in the Lord and in His Word and in His Spirit.
Sin is not easy to fight. Doing what’s right is not easy to do. Doing what feels good is easy to do.
Seek to live life non-naturally. Live it for the truths in the Word of God and for His glory. If you’re a believer, you’ve been changed by the gospel to live differently. Kill those natural desires, and seek after God’s way.
Hey! There’s a sequel to this post. Check it out RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.