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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Echoes of Darkness--The Sinful Nature

An angel comforting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Has someone you trusted betrayed you? It hurts worse than a bee sting. It puts your heart through a meat grinder.

Perhaps it was an unfaithful spouse. Maybe your children or grandchildren took money from you, a business partner cheated you, or a company you served faithfully for years told you it no longer wanted you.

Benedict Arnold betrayed his country by offering the military fortress at West Point, New York, for a British military commission and 10,000 pounds.1 A Benedict Arnold lurks inside us.

It continually tries to sabotage our desire to follow Jesus. It longs to live independently of God and do whatever tickles its fancy. Let’s call it the echoes of darkness.

The enemy is our fallen human nature. It seeks its way in everything. It naturally slides down the moral hill in the ungodly directions the Apostle Paul summarized in Galatians 5:19–21 NLT: “sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”

Pick fallen human nature up, turn it upside down, shake it as long as you like, and no good will fall from its pockets because there is none there (Romans 7:18). Extracting good from it is as hopeless as trying to get blood from a turnip.

It is hostile to God and wants what is contrary to and in conflict with what the Holy Spirit wants to do in and through us (Galatians 5:17–18). Its passions, desires, and thoughts perpetually resist the Spirit’s work.

We have already spent too much time gratifying the cravings, desires, and thoughts of our sinful nature (Ephesians 2:3). All who continue to live that way will reap destruction (Galatians 6:8).

We must put to death a way of life characterized by the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:12–13). We must say no to all lustful, ungodly inclinations, set our minds on what the Spirit desires, and clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14, Ephesians 2:3).

Fallen human nature resists loving God and neighbor (Matthew 22:37–39). It distrusts God. It engages in mutiny against the Captain of the ship. It thinks it knows better than the Captain what is best for it.

It is perpetually ungrateful for God’s blessings. It generates doubts about God’s willingness and ability to fulfill His promises when God promises otherwise (Numbers 23:19). It uses fear to suffocate faith when God promises the power to overcome fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

It magnifies the cost of following Jesus while ignoring the price of not doing so (Mark 8:36). It labels “impossible” things that God says are possible with Him (Luke 18:27).

 It tries to convince us we can’t do what Christ says we can (Philippians 4:13). It urges us to quit because our labor seems in vain—when God says it isn’t (1 Corinthians 15:58).

It whispers we are too tired to continue when God promises strength to complete the task (Isaiah 40:29–31). It reminds us we are not smart enough to do some good work while God promises to provide wisdom to complete it (James 1:5).

It unpacks self-hatred. It labels us unlovable and unworthy for God to do anything for us when He promised that since He didn’t spare His Son, He would freely give us what we need (Romans 8:32).

 It charges we are worthless when God paid Jesus to get us (John 3:16). It insists God can’t forgive us or that we can’t forgive ourselves when He promises that if we confess our sins, He will (1 John 1:9).

 It wears us out through worry when God promises His peace when we trust Him to take care of anything (Philippians 4:6–7). It portrays us as all alone in the world when God promises He won’t leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

The Apostle Paul describes life with fallen human nature, at the helm: “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1–5 NLT).

Especially, be on guard against the enemy that lurks inside us. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources 

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional, evangelism, and discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 3,359 people. I invite you to check it out. 

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