“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1- 2)
If Jesus, who shared our humanity, needed the Holy Spirit to resist the temptations of the devil, how much more do we? Certainly, our fallen humanity makes us subject to all kinds of temptations. The list is lengthy. St. Paul describes, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
Other sins are more subtle, such as checking our faith at the door of our workplace, not taking time to listen to someone who is hurting, or failing to be kind and respectful in our interactions with others. These sins of omission can be just as destructive to others and us as the more obvious sins of commission.
There was a time in my life when I let my work and career take precedence over my wife and family, but fortunately, I was invited by a priest and a group of nuns from Scarsdale, New York to be prayed with for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit. I will never forget the reassuring words of God’s love and forgiveness from Sister Pauline, one of the nuns. Experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit in a more personal and real way opened my eyes to both the sins of commission and omission. It changed the course of my life.
We all have different propensities to sin, but Jesus came to forgive and free us from our sins and enable us through the power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptations. I can personally testify that Jesus can set you free of a nagging, persistent sin. Ask Jesus with all your heart to take a sin from you, and he will do so!
The Holy Spirit gave me an entirely new perspective on how God was calling me to love and serve him through my family, work, and ministry. Experiencing the fullness and presence of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to resisting the devil’s many temptations.
Have you asked God to fill you with the Holy Spirit to help you resist sin?