Choose what you Think About
We behave according to our desires. If we want it, we will think about it, and plan how to get it ... then we take action. So it matters greatly how we manage our desires and our thoughts. Those who lust after sin will find that they cannot stop sinning.
On the other hand, those who are hungry to be like Jesus find that the Holy Spirit works inside them - to give them the desire and the power to live like Christ. Play acting (hypocrisy) can fool some people some of the time, but in the end, the true desire of the heart will be seen because its nature will inevitably be expressed.
Religion, based on rules with their threats and rewards, can never change somebody's heart. Only God can. When we repent and believe the gospel, God gives us His Spirit. But if we choose to resist Him or persist in lusting after our own pleasure, we will also resist His work in changing us into the image of Christ. So stop focussing on your external behaviour and concentrate on finding out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10) and then yearn to be like that. As you do, the Spirit will enable you.
© Dr Paul Adams