When I was pregnant with my son, now 5, he was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachychardia (SVT), a heart condition that caused his heart to beat twice as fast as normal. His heart was failing and fluid was building up around his heart and abdomen. I was immediately hospitalized so they could give me heart medication that would cross the placenta and correct his heart rhythm. It was a risky thing to give heart medication to someone without a heart condition.
Sometimes when we read Romans 7, where Paul is talking about his constant war with sin, we wonder why it is that someone with a spirit that has been born again struggles so much with sin. Aren’t we supposed to be dead to its power? Why is it that longtime Christians get caught in financial or sexual scandals? Why is it that Christians battle with unbelief, self-doubt, lying, stealing, fear, anxiety and idolatry? Why are there born-again believers who have given up, living lives of defeat that are useless for Kingdom-building? Didn’t sin lose its power over us when we were saved? Is victory over sin an illusion in this life?
As I was thinking about this one day, I remembered battling with my son’s in-utero heart condition. Nothing was wrong with me, yet I had to contend with a life-altering issue that was inside of me. In the same way, when we struggle with sin, it doesn’t mean that our conversion wasn’t genuine.
Those 15 days in the hospital were nothing short of a roller-coaster. Some days things were going great, other days it felt like all hope was lost. In those days, I learned to rest in Him. I learned to take action, by literally swallowing bitter pills and following doctors’ orders. As I look back, those intense days provided a microcosm of real life—struggling, fighting an unseen enemy, hearing everyone’s input on the condition, trusting in God to pull you through, overcoming, getting strengthened for the next struggle. Repeat.
It wasn’t my baby that was wrong with me, it was something inside of him. It reminds me that sometimes sin can hide inside very good intentions, motives and projects. Sometimes the sins of pride, lust, greed, gossip can live inside good works, good intentions and moral living. Ever heard a tantalizing tale told under the guise of a prayer request? Have you ever been motivated to do good works because you would receive accolades and applause from others? Sin can many times be the heartbeat that motivates us in what is designed to be a Spirit-led life.
The medicine I was given, had to bypass all of my body processes, and my son’s body processes and stealthily target one function of his heart. Through prayer, you can ask God to, with laser-precision, heal the parts of your life that have been damaged by sin. With the same laser precision He can also attack the sin that has been motivating your good works.
When we’re born again, we are no longer in sin as we were when we were born, but sin is still a force to be reckoned with. Though we are no longer slaves to sin, it can have the power to bind us and handicap the work God has called us to. The difference is, when are born again we have the power to overcome. The Holy Spirit births in us the desire to do what pleases Him.
When Jesus returns, sin will be completely eliminated. Until then, there is a force inside of us that requires a fight. Today, put on the full armor of God (truth, righteousness, peace from the Gospel, faith, salvation and the Word of God).
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm.” – Eph. 6:11
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://blog.lifeassuranceministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/IMG_0918.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Delina Pryce McPhaull is a Christ-follower, wife, mother of 3 young children and a writer. Delina and her husband Ben, a licensed minister, co-founded Quarterlife Ministries to encourage, equip and inspire young adults (quarterlifers) to get grounded in the Word. She writes regularly on her blog, www.deliniation.com and hosts webinars for Former Adventists at www.after7.tv.[/author_info] [/author]