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You Have the Power to Say ‘No’
By Rick Warren

“You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.” Romans 8:9 (NLT)

Some people today insist that we should just give in to any desire that comes our way. If it feels good, do it! If it serves you, go for it! If everyone else is doing it, why not? As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, have at it!

It’s a destructive mindset. Just because you have the desire to eat an entire chocolate cake doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And just because you think doing something won’t hurt anyone doesn’t mean you’re free of the consequences of your choices.

Romans 8:9 says, “You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you” (NLT).

Before you became a believer, you only had willpower to fight against temptations. But it was never enough. You were relatively powerless against the cravings that drove you to make unhealthy and destructive choices.

As a believer, you now have the Holy Spirit—and a new ability to say “no.” You still have the same compulsions, desires, lusts, and impulses you had before you began a relationship with Jesus. But now the power of God resides in you. Now you have the power to say “no.”

The Bible says, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16 NLT). It doesn’t say you won’t have sinful desires after you become a Christian. You’re still going to be a sinful human. But you do have the Holy Spirit, who will help you choose not to satisfy those desires. 

If you ever hear people say, “I’m a Christian, but I couldn’t stop myself,” they’re lying. They can stop themselves! They simply never called on the power of the Holy Spirit in the moment of temptation. They didn’t surrender to his guidance in their lives.

You have the greatest power in the universe available to you. It’s your choice to use it to say “no” to anything that does not honor and please God.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.