Those are the words that kept rolling through my head: “One hundred percent compliance.”
As a Christian, my goal per the Lord’s requirements is to conform to the image of Christ and to have the mind of Christ. This means behaving like Jesus, who lived sinlessly. As for Christ followers, the Book of Hebrews tells us to be rid of the sin that so easily besets us.
What is the sin (or sins) that so easily beset you? Is it anger or a spirit of unforgiveness (passive aggression)? Maybe it’s materialism or sexual lust. Perhaps you are selfish and are not giving to the Lord and others as you ought. Maybe your lust is not sexual, but is about food or clothes or career. Perhaps pride?
There was a time in my walk with the Lord (and this still happens) that I was working on a besetting sin — which, by the way, is a gift from God to want to do that — and every time I would transgress I heard this: “One hundred percent compliance.”
Because I kept hearing that phrase too many times a day, I was moved by God’s encouragement to discipline myself in an attempt to take every thought captive, which is yet another command of God.
Then the Lord began to show me other areas where he desired 100 percent compliance. And that voice kept repeating, “One hundred percent compliance.”
Oh, I get it, Lord. For me to be holy as you are holy means more than one hundred percent compliance in only one matter, but in the totality of my life.
Needless to say, there was a season when that compliance phrase echoed almost constantly in my head. As of this writing, I hear it a bit less. That does not mean I have attained near sinless perfection. No. Rather, it represents the truth of God’s promise: Resist the devil and he will flee.
Christians need to realize that it is not a sin to be tempted. But when we are tempted, we answer with a mind and heart of compliance toward God’s word and not Satan’s destructive detours.
Regarding temptations, the reformer Martin Luther is credited to have said: “You cannot prohibit the birds from flying over your head; but make sure they stay in the air and do not build a nest in your hair.”
I guarantee that, if you tell those birds they cannot land on your head, they’ll never make it to your heart. In fact, they will fly away and visit you less often. And that not only because resistance causes the devil to flee, it is also because we are more than conquerors in Christ.