Contrary to the world’s refrain to “follow your heart” we need to identify temptation, including what we are thinking and feeling, so we can take action to avoid sin.
Most of us struggle, at some time during our lives, with some sort of difficult-to-overcome, habitual sin. It might be excessive alcohol or some other substance abuse, lust, or even repeated wrong emotional responses such as jealousy, anger or greed.
Everybody has their “cross to bear,” and wrestles with habits and sins that continue to haunt us after baptism, when we made our commitment to God (Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:6). To be a dedicated Christian is to seriously address these sins and to yoke yourself to Christ, who overcame the world on our behalf (1 John 5:4-5), making possible the Spirit-led transformation we seek.
These steps represent the beginning of the process toward complete repentance and learning to yield to God’s Holy Spirit. The process involves not just avoiding sin, but replacing it with the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-24). There are also probably sins in our lives we don’t even recognize yet, because God is working with us to grow and mature throughout our lives.