“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” Luke 11:24-26
As God frees us and brings us out of temptation, as we grow in faith and gain victories over sin that once held us captive, it is vital to fill the void. We must not leave an empty space where sin used to reign. If we do, we leave ourselves unnecessarily vulnerable. It is very likely that it will take hold of us again.
When our Lord opens our eyes to the evil of sin and enables us to turn from darkness, His grace also seeks to show us the surpassing joy of His ways. It is not enough to see the destruction of impurity; we must realize the loveliness in purity and fight to protect its beauty. We mustn’t merely stop lying; we need to rejoice in truth and cherish the fact that it builds healthy, strong relationships. It isn’t enough to avoid gossip; we must value those around us and seek to build them up, desiring to encourage and show honor to all whom God places in our path.
In focusing our minds and hearts on thoughts that are pleasing to our Lord, we are being filled with Him. His Spirit will further strengthen us and reveal to us His truth, and we will be able to abhor what is evil and hold fast to what is good (Romans 12:9). It’s easy to feel at a loss when faced with powerful temptations and the sinful habits that once bound us. To not know how to keep from falling again. To wonder if anything’s really changed in you. But your God is stronger than any temptation. He is powerful enough to break through every chain. As you behold His glory, He is transforming you to make you like Christ. Your rejecting sin isn’t about your own strength to fight it—it’s about believing in the One who is mighty to save and who has already won the victory for you. He is renewing you day by day. His mercies are new every morning. And He will be faithful to complete the work He is doing in you. “He who called you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Fix your eyes on Christ. Realize the delight found in seeking His face and following His ways. Pursue holiness and unspeakable joy. Sin cannot hold you captive when you are walking in the power of the One who reigns over all.