by Pastor Colin Smith; UNLOCKING THE BIBLE; 4-26-16
What are the cravings of the sinful nature? What kinds of strong desire does the sinful nature produce? What does the intense longing that comes from your sinful nature look like?
Here are 10 examples. You’ll recognize them immediately.
1. When you are blessed, the sinful nature produces pride: The sinful nature wants to take the credit.
2. When others succeed, the sinful nature produces envy: The sinful nature says, “It should have been me.”
3. When you do something good, the sinful nature is self-righteous: It says, “Look what I did!”
4. When you do something wrong, the sinful nature goes into denial: The sinful nature says, “It wasn’t me!”
5. When you suffer, the sinful nature indulges in self pity.
6. When you don’t get what you want, the sinful nature gets irritable, frustrated, and angry.
7. When your work is not recognized or appreciated, the sinful nature gets resentful.
8. When you are in a conflict the sinful nature produces self-justification: It says, “I’m right!”
9. When you hear about the love of God, the sinful nature produces unbelief: It will say, “That can’t be true!”
10. When you hear what the Bible says about sin, the sinful nature responds with evasion. Thinking about the sin of others do you think, “Well, I wouldn’t have done that. I’m better than that.” Guess where that comes from?
The list goes on and on, so learn to detect the voice of the sinful nature. Learn to read your heart and predict where your sinful nature will go.
If the fires have burned low in your marriage, expect your sinful nature to produce thoughts about divorce. Something within you will say, “You deserve better than this. There must be another person out there for you.”
If you are discouraged in ministry, expect the sinful nature to produce thoughts about quitting. The sinful nature will say, “You deserve better than this. There’s something else you could do.” The sinful nature will always produce these cravings, strong desires, and intense longings.
The Christian life is a sustained battle against the constant impulses of sin that rise from the sinful nature. If you are a Christian, your sin is forgiven, but it has not yet been expelled. You are now involved in a lifelong struggle, with the help of the Spirit of God, against the desires of the sinful nature.
Which of these ten is the biggest struggle for you? Which do you think is the most tragic?