Do you ever wonder why it is that whenever you see a sign that says “No . . .,” you suddenly want to do what it says not to do? This happened at a waterfront hotel in Galveston, Texas, when signs were posted warning people not to fish from the hotel balconies. The hotel staff wanted to put an end to the damage the fishermen were causing on the building. But guess what happened when the fishermen saw the signs? They kept on fishing.

The hotel staff realized that the signs weren’t working, so they took them all down. They never had the problem again.

When there is a law of any kind, the rebellious sin nature inside each of us wants to go against it. (Think about the way we try to rationalize going over the speed limit in rush hour.) Before we trusted in Christ, we weren’t able to resist this nature. But once Jesus saved us, the power sin had over our wills was broken. Romans 6 says that we are dead to sin, because our sin natures were crucified with Christ on the cross. That means now we have the freedom to choose for ourselves who we want to obey — our sin natures or our Savior. We are given new natures which strengthen us against sin. We just have to let them reign by submitting daily to God and His will for us.

I’ve been saved for over 40 years, but I haven’t “arrived” yet. There are still times when I want to please my sin nature. That’s why I am so glad I have victory in Christ. When I don’t think I have the strength to do what is right, He stands by me and helps me. He’ll help you in your times of weakness, too — just let Him reign.

As long as the Spirit dwells in my heart, He deadens me to sin, so that, if lawfully called through temptation, I may reckon upon God carrying me through. But when the Spirit leaves me, I am like dry gunpowder.  — Robert M’Cheyne

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder