How do you do right when part of you wants to do wrong? Pain comes when you deny your flesh. Pain occurs when you’ve hurt someone or someone hurts you.
Please pay close attention to the following story because it will lay the groundwork for dealing with what I call, “the pain of the moment.”
Once upon a time there was a young woman who was talented, pretty, and smart.
But she had a terrible temper.
When she got angry, she said hurtful things. Not only did she hurt others, she hurt herself.
Her father became concerned about her and wanted to help. He gave his daughter a bag of nails and a hammer.
“Whenever you lose your temper,” he told his daughter, “Go out back to that old fence. Take one of the nails and hammer it into the fence as hard as you can. Hold nothing back.”
Over the next few weeks, the daughter did exactly as her father said. Eventually, all the nails were gone.
“Now,” her father said, “I want you to pull out one of the nails.”
The daughter did so with great effort.
The father said, “Notice that, even though the nail is gone, a hole is still left. This fence will never be the same. Saying or doing hurtful things produces the same kind of result. There will always be a scar left behind.”
While a powerful story about the painful aftermath of wrong actions, that’s not the part of the story I wanted you to think about.
I want you to think about what happens next.
The young woman takes her father’s story to heart.
She wants to change desperately.
But what does she do the next time she is angry and her flesh demands that she hurt someone or herself out of the pain she is feeling?
While our issue may not be the same as this young woman, we all have moments when our flesh demands that we do the wrong thing.
I call that moment of deciding between right or wrong, “the pain of the moment.”
How we choose to handle that pain determines our destiny.
You might think that I’m going to say dealing with that pain requires more willpower, gritting your teeth, or trying harder to do the right thing.
But you would be wrong.
The Bible talks about this very struggle in Romans, chapter 7.
As Believers in Christ, we have supernatural help so that we can choose right in the pain of the moment.
You’ll going to get 3 steps for dealing with the pain of the moment in this article.
But they won’t make sense unless you understand where pain came from in the first place.
The first couple, Adam and Eve, did not know pain at first. They lived in perfect peace in a perfect world.
However in Genesis 3, things changed.
Eve chose to disobey a command God gave for their good – and Adam joined her in disobedience.
As representatives of mankind, their decision introduced pain and suffering into this world.
Their choice still affects mankind to this day.
Sin is mankind’s tendency to do the wrong thing.
Sin begins in the heart and makes us want to do things our own way rather than God’s way.
Sin causes us to make poor choices, hurting ourselves and others.
But God provided the ultimate solution for mankind’s sin: Jesus.
Many of us know that Jesus took on our sins at the cross. He died and was buried. He paid the penalty for sin.
However, many of us don’t realize something else happened in Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The wages of sin is death (see Romans 6:23).
So when Jesus rose from the grave, He not only conquered death, but He conquered the power of sin for us who declare Him as our Savior!
Now comes that age-old question that all Christians secretly ask, “If Jesus conquered the power of sin, then how come I still sin?”
Well the truth is, even though we experience salvation from our sin through Jesus, that same old sin nature is still inside of us – the part of us that wants to do the wrong thing.
That’s because sin operates in our flesh. As long as we are in this flesh (our bodies), we will have to face the pain of the moment.
Once we leave this Earth, we will receive a glorified body in which sin no longer dwells, but until then we have to live in the body we have now.
If our flesh had to choose between gratifying itself versus obeying God, there is no contest; the flesh would win.
That is the condition of people in the world.
However those of us in Christ received a Helper to empower us to obey God – and break sin’s power over us right in the pain of the moment.
This Helper is the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:16-17, Jesus says of Him,
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
If you tried to do the right thing in your own strength, you would eventually get frustrated, tired, and want to quit.
It’s like trying to use a row boat to get across the ocean!
However, the Holy Spirit supplies the wisdom and strength you need to do the right thing, found in God’s word – the Bible.
Through the Holy Spirit, you allow Jesus to live His life through you. Instead of using that row boat to get across the ocean, you upgrade to a sailboat.
The Holy Spirit is the wind in your sails!
He gives you guidance about where to go and what to do. He helps you make wise choices that line up with God’s way.
He is your closest friend. He knows you better than you know yourself.
While you may still be tempted to do the wrong thing, you don’t have to. Sin no longer rules your life.
Through God’s grace, He has given you the Holy Spirit to destroy sin’s power in your life.
Romans 6:14 says,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
However, it is a daily decision to yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to carry you up and over the pain of the moment.
It is wise to accept His help!
Start each day in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit’s help during those moments of decision that you’ll face that day. Sin tries to control us through fear of pain and/or death.
We feel pain or discomfort in our bodies of flesh.
The enemy wants you to act from impulse to relieve that pain.
When the choice comes between right and wrong, take these three steps (adapted from the Bible study, Extreme Makeover of the Soul, by Bryan Wilkerson):
- Understand that when you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you died to sin (see Romans 6). Remind yourself of that fact often. While sin can tempt you, it can’t control you.
- Decide that sin will not control you. Make “I don’t have to” your key phrase. Remember, as far as sin is concerned, you are a dead person and can’t respond to sin’s promptings.
- Choose to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Several times each day, you have the opportunity to choose what to do. Call these exchange moments. You are free not to obey your flesh. You are alive to Christ and a new creation! You can hear the Holy Spirit perfectly.
At that moment, take a deep breath, imagining the Holy Spirit’s power putting wind into your sails. He gives you power, lifts you up and over the pain of the moment (turbulent waves) and moves you forward.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says,
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
The Holy Spirit empowers you to take the escape route God provides!
When you understand, decide, and choose, you have power to overcome the pain of the moment.
Each time you allow the Holy Spirit to lift you up and over that pain, you move forward into becoming the person God He created you to be – reflecting the image of His Son, Jesus.
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Are you ready to cross over any speed bumps on the way to your best weight and better health? The Take Back Your Temple program will be your guide.
3 John 1:2 says,
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
If you are excited about your future and know that your health habits are supplying you with energy to maximize your present and future, then you don’t need the Take Back Your Temple program.
You are already on a good road.
However, if you are sensing that your current habits are standing in the way of your better future, then that is where I can help. I can help you uncover those roadblocks that are standing in the way of reaching your best weight.
Come join me on the journey to better health in the Take Back Your Temple program, starting today. Let’s go farther – together.
Wonderful words that apply not only to our food struggles but to our everyday lives. Thank you so much!
You are welcome, Hilda – may our Lord continue to bless you!
Great article! Thank you so much for taking the time to make this for us! My favorite part, what stuck with me the strongest, was “The enemy wants you to act from impulse to relieve that pain.” Aha! moment for me.
I’m so grateful for a reframing of our role in relationship to the Holy Spirit. I was smiling in my Spirit when I thought of that tension of that moment! I
Praise God for speaking right through you and thank you for your willingness to do what is necessary to let Him!
Your article on night eating described me perfectly. I had been really good the last 5 days, then last night I was stressed and turned to food. After I consumed an entire package of Fiber one bars, I felt so sick and ashamed that I cried. I prayed at that point harder than I think I have ever prayed before asking God to send His Spirit to help me because I cannot do this without him.
I appreciate your suggestions above and I plan to start working on my plan today. God Bless you Kimberly Taylor! You were heaven sent into my life!
I am happy to help. The enemy wants to keep you trapped in bondage, but Christ set you free. The door is open, but it is up to you to walk through it each moment. My prayers are with you 🙂
I’m finally allowing the Lord to deal with my emotional eating issues. After running for decades, my health took a turn for the worse, and I’ve had two surgeries, and gained considerable weight.
The pain of this reality is looking straight at me, and I’m getting the inner strength, courage, and guidance to overcome this spiritual, emotional, and physical battle.
Thank you for your words of wisdom, Kim.
I was considering unsubscribing because I had gastric bypass surgery a few months ago and am doing well with my weight but I am so glad I have remained subscribed because God uses your messages to teach me so much more about my temple. Thank you very much.
Oh how I needed this!! I know now that I can ask God to forgive me of my sin of gluttony and ask Him to empower me with the gift of the Holy Spirit to say NO to binging eating and YES to a new and healthy life!
Thank you so much. I feel with all my heart that God put you into my life to help me open my eyes to the Spirit dwelling within me. I am going to print the chart to put on the table by my chair as a reminder that God is always with me and will help me if only I ask!
Thank you. I’d like to compliment you on your professional and interesting articles. i’ve been reading your emails for quite awhile now and you have really blossomed into this role as advisor and encourager. Nicely done! You are a blessing in my life.
Thank GOD for this article. It came right on time. Thank You so much for reminding me about the gift of the Holy Ghost. For a moment, I truly forgot how powerful HE is and the precious gift we receive. GOD bless you Kim