When the discussion of how to avoid the pitfalls of sin occurs with Christians, it seems that many different opinions and views are given. But when you read the following two Scriptures, you will see that being a real Christian is not about any self-discipline or worldly rules, but it comes down to allowing yourself to share in the same vision as Jesus Christ and making that vision real in your own life:
1. You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. (Colossians 2:20-23 NLT)
2. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. (Colossians 3:1-3, 10 NLT)
Now let’s go to James 2:19, which warns us, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!” Also look around and you will see that many people are drowning in sin even though they claim to believe in God. But what makes a real Christian different is that a real Christian shares the same vision as their master Jesus Christ. What makes us conquerors over our evil desires and sin is that we set our sights on heaven. We have a new nature that longs for our Creator and to be like Him. We recognize that self discipline only works so good then falls short because the evil desires are still there and eventually we will give in. But when we put on the mindset of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b) and abide in Him (1 John 2:28a), we see beyond the evil desires and know that there is a better way. We do not want to partake in the things we shouldn’t. We want to please our Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds to pray without ceasing. This does not mean that we must utter words every waking minute. What it means is that we are to have our sights on heavenly things and have a mindset of Christ. It is only when we take our sights off of the things of God, and we allow our vision to become distracted and focused on the things of the world, that we get in trouble.
As sure as we wake in the morning and put on our clothes, let us put on the mindset of Jesus Christ. Let us dwell on the heavenly things of our Father. Let us find true joy as we go throughout each and every day knowing that we are glorifying our Lord and are a pleasant aroma to Him. Oh yes, we may still stumble and fall, but we know that we are still in the race. All we need to do is allow Jesus to pick us up, dust us off, and set our sights on the finish line ahead.