Galatians 5:16-21 (NIV): So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
God made people as morally responsible agents – they get to choose who they will serve, and how they will behave. At every juncture, there is a choice to be made, a direction to be set. To say, “I just couldn’t help myself” is the worst kind of copout. It implies that a person has no ability to choose – that they are like an animal that can only react as they have been wired to react. But people are not animals, not even “highly evolved” animals; they are the pinnacle of God’s creative power, made in His image, and with such massive potential that most cannot even imagine. God has given us the power in every situation to choose our response. At any moment, a person can choose to act in accordance with God’s law, God’s desires, or they can choose to act in accordance with their own sinful nature, and so put themselves at enmity with God. Those actions that spring from choosing to act contrary to God’s law are obvious, as pointed out above – no gray, they show up pitch black in contrast to the light of those choices that are in accord with God’s law. But always be sure that sinful reactions are the result of a person’s CHOICE, and if they choose to follow God, He can, and will, give them all the power they need to do the right thing.
Father, this is good news – that in Your strength we can obey You fully; that we are NOT animals, but morally responsible beings who can choose; unless we lower ourselves to the level of animals by our own decisions. We are not victims, but choosers. Help us to choose You every day. Amen.