Overcoming: Changing Magnetic Polarity

Human beings have a natural attraction to sin—much like magnets of opposite polarity. In order to overcome, we must change our spiritual magnetic polarity!

In our modern world, the properties that go along with magnetism are well understood. Basically, there are two types of magnets: an electromagnet and a permanent magnet. An electromagnet is a temporary magnet powered by electricity flowing through a coil of wire around an iron core. The electric current magnetizes the metal core. A permanent magnet is a substance that is able to generate its own magnetic field.

Every magnet has a north and a south pole. Depending upon the alignment of the poles between two magnets, they will either attract one another or repel one another. Similar poles (north and north or south and south) will repel one another. Opposite poles (north and south or south and north) attract.

Our view of sin can be seen as a choice of our magnetic polarity. It is a matter of our character and level of spiritual growth whether we are attracted to sin or repelled by it.

Recognizing our calling

Human beings have a natural proclivity to self-concern, which, if not controlled, will lead to sin that is strengthened through the influence of Satan (Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:2). However, we have been called to grow in character and become like God (Ephesians 4:13). God wants a family of sons and daughters who share His perfect character. He is in the process of “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).

All of mankind will have an opportunity to choose to follow God and His way of life or to follow the way of Satan, which leads to death (Romans 6:23). God has called a few today and will eventually offer all of mankind the knowledge of His ways. In order to enter into the family of God, we must all repent and turn away from sin (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Sin’s magnetic draw

The pull of sin on us is like the attraction of opposite magnetic poles. God warned Cain that “sin lies at the door” and will rule over us—if we don’t rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Human nature, with the added influence of Satan, is also drawn to sin. Sin’s pleasures are short-lived (Hebrews 11:25), but its effects on us are strong. Sin is a very addictive power that can overtake us. When we allow ourselves to get in the range of its magnetic field, it violently pulls us in and seeks to hold on to us (see James 1:13-15).

Sin is a very addictive power that can overtake us. When we allow ourselves to get in the range of its magnetic field, it violently pulls us in and seeks to hold on to us.Are we stuck in this constant pull toward sin? Are we hopeless to ever break free?

The poles of a magnet may seem to be fixed; but under certain circumstances, they can change—and so can we!

God also told Cain that, despite the fact that sin wants us, we should rule over it (Genesis 4:7). It is an internal conflict within each of us who have been called and received the spirit of God. We all have sins that we battle against and defects in our character that hinder our growth.

We are called to change our polarity so that those things that draw us away from God no longer have a pull on us. It is more than just not reacting to sin. Repentance is a complete turnaround. We have to grow to the point that we are repelled and sickened by it. We have to hate it as God hates it and never want to be involved with those things (Isaiah 59:2). We can’t always avoid the temptation to sin, but our reaction to it is within our power to control.

So how can we become repelled by sin?

Changing your “magnetic” field

Magnetic poles can be changed. It is possible to switch the polarity, but the very nature of the material must be changed. The process involved in reversing the poles of a magnet depends upon whether the magnet is an electromagnet or a permanent magnet. It is easier to change the polarity of an electromagnet than it is a permanent magnet. An electromagnet can have its polarity switched by a simple reversing of the wires from the power supply.

A permanent magnet, however, requires outside help to have its polarity changed. For example, you can change the magnetic field by wrapping a coil of wire around the magnet and applying a current through the coil. Whether this is successful, however, depends on the initial strength of the magnet. It may take more power to change.

Likewise, we can change our polarity and how we react to sin. Here are some steps we must take to “switch the wires” to change our polarity so we are repelled by sin:

However, some sins are easier to overcome than others. Sometimes the magnetic draw that sin has on us can only be overcome with outside help. And that help is the supernatural assistance that can only come from God. So, this is the final step in changing our polarity to sin:

  • We need to ask for and seek God’s Holy Spirit to help us overcome (Romans 8:26).

Changing the “magnetic polarity” of our mind is not easy—but it is the task God has placed before us! And He has promised that He will give us the power of His Holy Spirit to add to our efforts so that we can break free of sin’s magnetic pull and instead be drawn to God’s righteous way.

For more on what the Bible says about this subject, see the following articles:

Topics Covered: Christian Growth, Overcoming

About the Author

Johnathan Armstrong

Johnathan Armstrong attends the Little Rock, Arkansas, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.