Often I tell my clients that the inner struggle they have reveals that whatever they are doing/thinking is not really them. The fact that the Holy Spirit lives in a Christian means that any thing contrary to the Spirit will make them uncomfortable. This is great news!!! The fact that I have a struggle with sin means 1: its no longer who I am, 2: I can chose not to continue to do it. Gal 5: 1 says "It is for freedom sake that Christ has set you free, therefore no longer submit yourself to the yolk of slavery. " Ultimately we are already free and when we become in bondage to anything, good or bad, then the Spirit with in us convinces us that this bondage is not for me. This is a life long process but the struggle reveals the identity!
Romans 6 in the Message puts a unique perspective on this in the way they translate the first part of the chapter. He says that because we have been baptized with Christ, our death with Him means that we have died to sin. (Gal 2:20) But he goes on further to say that our life, when we are raised, is now completely fully in Christ. The part I like is that he says that sin is now a foreign language to us, because we have a new life in Christ and our mother tongue is Christ's. When sin speaks to us, we don't understand it because it is not who we are.
When I was in Costa Rica, I got a head ache trying to keep up with the Spanish. I took some Spanish in High School so I knew enough to get the basics, but the conjugations, sentence structure, and speed blew my mind. Over time I was able to understand it better, but I was only there for a week. People have said that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself into that culture. I think this concept is very true for believers as well. When be are born again in the Spirit there is a new passion and we all of a sudden have a new language. The things we used to do, give us a headache and the very thought of them gives us a headache. The struggle reveals the Identity. But over time we immerse ourselves in the old ways of thinking and living and convince ourself that it really is our language because we can once again somewhat understand the language. The awesome reality is that even if we become fluent in a language, it is not our native tongue. So as I get back to speaking the language I was born into, then I find myself being who I was born to be. After that trip, it was great to hear English again. I know that this example has its limitations, but the idea is sin no longer suits me and it is no longer my native tongue!! In Christ I have a new language and a new Identity!!
To be continued....