I tried to ignore Steve and hoped he would just leave me alone, but he was persistent. It seemed he always showed up at the worst times. I finally told him, listen, I don't want anything to do with you. He just laughed. It was like one of those movies where the menacing person they thought that they had gotten rid kept coming back when they least expected it.
There he was it seemed everywhere I went. It was like Steve was saying "I'm back." I didn't want to have a relationship with this guy. After all, I was a Christian and it was just plain wrong! I wondered if I could get some kind of restraining order against to keep him out of my life. But restraining orders don't work on this kind of person.
So what did I do? First of all let me tell you this. Steve is not a real person or is he? He is the personification of my sin nature. I am not sure who named him. I just remember
saying to my wife, Ginelle, that was Steve, not me. She said we want you around here, not Steve. Get rid of Steve. We both made a little joke out of it. Neither of us wanted him around, but we didn’t know how to get rid of him. I prayed, we prayed, but Steve kept coming to visit. If you read Romans chapter 7, you will see Paul's struggle to overcome the sin nature. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15)
First let me differentiate between the flesh and the sin nature. The flesh is the natural part of us. It is our human will, natural characteristics, etc. You could say it is neutral in a sense. The sin nature is the bad or evil part of us. The flesh must be yielded for sin nature to control us. For example,
if I choose to watch a horror movie, I am opening the
door to fear in my life. I am enticing the sin nature to activate. The same is true with lust or anything else. What role does Satan play in all this? I believe he piles on. Ever see a football game, where the guy on bottom can't get
up because all of these guys are on top of him.
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16) Fool around with it long enough and he’ll own you.
So what can a person do? First, let me say that your willpower is no match for the sin nature or Satan. You must place your faith in Christ, and renew your mind. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1, 2)
When I think back now I can remember some of the things Steve would get me to do. I fully cooperated with him. I remember one time trying to fix my desk and it just
wasn't going right, and finally after a couple of hours just losing my temper and grabbing the thing and just demolishing it in a fit of rage. Not only had I scared my family with my temper, I had to buy a new desk and was very ashamed. Maybe you struggled with temper or lust or judging or just not doing what God called you to do. You can overcome it through Christ! I did!
I finally had to kiss Steve goodbye. I took him on a long drive and gave him some money for bus fare. He still tries to show up on occasion. If I have been neglecting my spiritual life even a little bit I make a course correction because he looks for a little hole to slip through. Now when he comes knocking at the door, I just turn him away and put him back on the bus. I stand on the promises of God's Word and pray in the spirit. What can I tell you it works, nothing else did. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6). Carnally, means naturally as well as sinfully.
So say goodbye to your Steve, you won't regret it. The great thing about these Biblical Principles is one size fits all. It works for everything and everyone.