There was a show on TV not that long ago that showed the "behind the scenes" magic...I think it was called magic revealed. What they would do is perform a magic trick, which was usually pretty amazing...then they would show you how the trick was performed...it was usually something very simple yet very tricky that made the illusion look real to the audience. Now satan is a master deceiver...much better then any of those illusionist and he makes things seem real, even feel real by deception and desires to steal, kill and destroy the abundant life that God has placed in His children.
One of the first things we have to realize is that our flesh (our soul and body living independent of God) has gotten use to living off of lies...it is like it's default setting. For years it has believed lies and lived according to those beliefs, it has gotten comfortable living in that which is a lie. We are like that proverbial frog sitting in the water that is about to start to boil taking little note of the heat. Let me give you an example…
For years I lived with the mentality of performance based acceptance…and the deceiver knew it. So when I became a Christian I brought that same mindset (fleshly pattern) into my relationship with God. I believed that I had to perform in order for Him to be pleased with me. I am sure it started back when I was a child and brought home a good report card and was praised for my “good work” but when I did something bad I was shunned. This created a sort of flesh pattern that must be broken by the truth. This played into other relationships also from high school to the job market to marriage these deep-seated patterns are just part of our “normal” life. Today, I realize that I am God’s beloved despite my behavior. And I am fully accepted in the beloved because of who God is and His great love for me. That there is no condemnation even when I fall and fail, and that He is right there with me in spite of me. Now when I go back to that “perverted default setting” God reminds me that it is a lie and that He has overcome that in my life and by faith to submit to the Truth. The truth is so much better then the lie even though our flesh fights against it because it has gotten use to sitting in the heated water.
Some of these fleshly patterns, if not most, are so deep-seated in us that we don’t even realize that we are doing something abnormal. In fact society perpetuates many abnormal things depending our cultural background and what is the norm of society at any given time. The good news is that we have a Counselor that wants and wills that we will walk in the victory that Christ has already purchased on Calvary. He has already overcome them in us and now, as we walk in the light (1John 1:7) He works with us and shows us these perverted fleshly patterns. He does so with love, which is patient, kind, is not irritable or resentful, and all that 1Cor 13:4-8 tells us about the nature of love thus the nature of God. He implores us to put on the new man and to renew our mind of the truth of who we are in Him and who He is in us. This is a process that each person is going through with the Lord and as their relationship with Him in it deepens they get to know Him more and more intimately (John 17:3).
As I pray I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me where I am living a lie. What part of me is living independent of God and believing the lie that I am not in union with Him. This may take some time and wrestling with God over such matters because the flesh doesn’t give up easily. Many times you may want to have victory in a certain area of your life but you are not willing to have the Holy Spirit shed light on it because you “like” the certain aspects of the fleshly pattern. I have found that it gets to a point that I actually hate the fleshly pattern before I am willing to let it go and walk in His victory. It never ceases to amaze me how deep these patterns run in our lives and what strongholds they have on us. After the lie is exposed and I stop believing it I then ask God to teach me the truth and start believing the truth. When I fail to believe it I simply repent and run back into the arms of God or as John says I abide in Him. The process is on going but I can honestly say that there is victory over that inward sin and that God desires for us to walk in it.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.