Ingest, but remember to digest
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 8:31-36)
We have been looking at the importance of making a life commitment to follow and serve Jesus. Saying "YES" to Jesus is just the beginning of us being truly free of the burden of sin and the condemnation sin brings into our lives. Jesus is quite emphatic - we are slaves to sin UNTIL we come to that place of accepting his finished work in our lives. We might still face temptations and failures, but we are free from the hold of sin. We may feel the 'pull' of temptation, but that doesn't mean we are following sin any longer. We are free to serve a new 'master'.
One of the most important ways we can be free from the condemnation of sin is to learn from his Word. It might not have occurred to you that getting the Word of God into your life is 'pushing out' the feelings of guilt that lead to feelings of shame and condemning thoughts. When we replace those thoughts with the Word, we are giving no place to the devil to tempt us with those sinful 'pulls' any longer. The more of the Word we 'ingest', the more we will fill the space sin once occupied!
Standing requires muscle. We don't develop muscle just sitting around doing nothing. We develop muscle by putting our body through action - we undertake activities that increase our strength. If we want to stand against sin in our lives, we need to undertake the activities that build 'spiritual muscle' within our lives. We need to have a steady 'intake' of the Word of God. Food can be put into our mouths, but until it is swallowed and digested, we get no value from it. The Word of God must be 'digested', not just 'ingested'.
We 'build' a wall against the gates of hell when we 'ingest' the Word and allow it to begin to affect our inner man. To be truly free of sin and its pull, discover what the Word of God says we are to do with that sin. We are to confess it, let it go, and build a defense against it. Walls of shame and guilt are replaced with walls of strength - the strength of God helping to repel the 'pull' of sin. One of the best things you can do this year is to dust off that Bible, or open that Bible app, and just get into the Word of God. Learn truth and be free. Just sayin!