Avoiding Evil vs. Overcoming Evil
Are you trying to be a good person? Are you trying not to drink too much, swear, smoke or overeat? Are you trying to stop thinking filthy thoughts? Is there some other bad habit you are trying to control?
Do you ever catch yourself doing something good to cover up something bad you just did? Do you give to this or that fund from time to time so you can say that you are not all bad? Do you have some good days and some bad days, but things are looking down more than they are looking up for you?
Well, maybe you are going about it the wrong way. Maybe you are going at it your way instead of God’s Way.
The Bible says our natures prevent us from doing the very thing we want to do (Rom. 7:15). For example, when we try to stop smoking, that is when we tend to smoke more. When we try to control our own nature by going on a diet, we might struggle to lose 20 pounds, but then our nature runs amuck and we gain back 28 pounds!
You cannot overcome evil by avoiding evil. You might be able to subdue it for a while, but evil will eventually win in most cases.
You must overcome evil by doing good for God daily (Rom. 12:21; Psalm 37:27). You must make sure that you are not doing your good to be noticed by others. Instead, you must do all that you do in secret, and in the name of Jesus Christ, for the glory of the Father (Matt. 6:1; Col. 3:17).
Then what happens? God begins to allow you to be tested (1 Cor. 3:13; 1 Peter 1:6-7). But you must continue doing good for God. Instead of thinking about the evil you want to do, get busy doing something good for God. Get involved in the process of replacing the bad things in your life with good things, for the purpose of repentance (Acts 26:20).
Soon you will begin to notice that in your weakness, God’s strength is made strong (2 Cor. 12:9). You are becoming rich in good works (Titus 2:12; 3:8; 1 Tim. 6:18). The problem falls away as though it never had been a problem.
Continue being zealous in doing good for God every day. Continue in the godly process of overcoming your nature until Christ has been formed in you and you are a new creature (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:1-5, 12; 3:10-11; Gal. 4:19; 6:15). You will be made complete and perfect by God the Father, the same as Jesus Christ, our example, was made perfect (Heb. 5:8-9).
When you do good works for the Father, you are doing the Father’s works and not your own (John 14:10-12; Rom. 8:12-14; Col. 3:5-13). This is how you do God’s Will. Then you are overcoming evil instead of avoiding evil and soon you will be a new creation of God (Gal. 6:15).