Do you have an area of sin in your life that just seems like you will always have to work on? As in, I know Jesus can give us absolute victory over any sin, but sometimes it feels like I will always be actively doing battle against certain sins in my life. I have several, actually. :/
This was (and sometimes still IS) me:
I’m just “strong”. Well, people need to hear the “truth” sometimes. I don’t have to let people walk all over me. I have no problem being the bad guy. Why can’t everyone just see how it “should” be? Yikes.
One of my biggest sin issues has been my mouth. Complaining, criticism, gossip, yelling, all that stuff. I had no control over my words. If I was frustrated, angry, or grumpy, people heard about it. Man, it’s so embarrassing thinking back to times in my life where I was really naughty. Blech…
But then I read this verse…
I was (and am) really active in ministry. I did kids, teens, praise team, all that stuff. And I’m a pastor’s wife. I was PROUD of all I did for God. I put TIME into what I did for God. And you know what…
It was worthless.
I don’t want my religion to be worthless.
I want it to be a blessing! Not just to people, but to God Himself.
So I had to change. Here’s what I’ve learned about gaining victory over sin…
1. Lay Down Your Pride – You have sin in your life. You just do. Everyone does. Make yourself open to learning. Here’s what God says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” Psalm 25:9 We have to be humble so we can learn and be guided by God. You are not superior. You are not the smartest person you know. You do not have everything figured out. You are not the best Christian out there. You need God’s rescuing just like everyone else. Bring yourself low, so that God can lift you up.
2. Identify It – I’m guessing you already have a sin issue come to mind. If not, ask God to reveal it to you… “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (ps… a spouse may have some insight as well)
3. Pray About It – You KNOW this one has to be in here… We are powerLESS on our own. God is powerFUL. Get the supernatural help you need! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 We often use this verse to be assured of God’s forgiveness, but it goes farther… He will PURIFY us from ALL unrighteousness! He’ll help you!!
4. Attack It – This is essential. Remember Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan?? (Matthew 4:1-11) He used Scripture to combat Satan. That’s where we should get our example! Memorize verses that the Spirit can bring back to you when temptation strikes. Use it to combat your sin. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11.
(By the way, Proverbs is my VERY favorite book of the Bible. Because it has helped my so much with verses to help me in my battle with my mouth. Here’s a few of my most useful gems…
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19
“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” Proverbs 20:19
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions” Proverbs 18:2 ~ That one KILLED me!!
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
“The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.” Proverbs 12:6 ~ This is what I’m working on right now… rescuing people with my words… saying something positive, making excuses, etc.)
4. Look for the Way Out – Every time we are tempted to fall back into our sin, we have to look for our way of escape. Check this out… “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Every time. There is always a way out. CHOOSE IT!
(What it has looked like for me: When I’m about to be stupid with my mouth, I shut it. Then I try to replace it with a positive. Like, if I’m stuck in a complaining moment, I try to say something I’m thankful for. If everyone else is talking bad about someone, I try to say something good about them. You guys, it. is. hard. But it’s a CHOICE every time. So make the right choice- escape.)
5. Check Your Friendships – Take a hard look at the people you are around. Do they fan the flames of your sin? Is your sin feeding their sin, and their sin feeding yours? Man, I think this is such a big problem!! “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. It is SO EASY to join in with everyone else. And we hate to admit it. Because we like the people we’re around. You guys – LIKE God more. Like righteousness. Like purification. You may be able to return to those friendships later, and be an example, but take a break until you get a handle on your sin.
(This was huge for me. I made an intentional decision to “walk with the wise.” Proverbs 13:20. Look for people who you know are solid. Pursue their friendship. I love having friends who are ahead of me in life. They have so much to teach me. And it has been probably my biggest attitude changer.)
6. RELY ON THE HOLY SPIRIT - This is the real big one. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Romans 8:26. Really, just go read all of Romans 8. We don’t have to stay trapped in sin. The same Spirit of God, who had power over physical death – He LIVES IN US – to give power over spiritual death! That’s awesome power in us! Release it. Rely on it!
God is still working hard on me, but it makes me passionate and excited when I look back and see the victory He has given me!!
Now when I mess up and say something sinful, (which is still all too often) it doesn’t make me feel strong or right. No matter what has happened leading up to it, nothing makes me feel justified… I feel stupid. And embarrassed. And I have to humble myself and fix it.
That’s me growing. That’s me listening to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That feels empowering. And it fills me with praise to the Father who wants to give me victory.
Have you had success in conquering sin in your life? Was there something specific that helped?? I would love to be encouraged by it! ♥
Okay, so I wrote a post about how I keep God in my busy life.
I forgot one.
I think I put something in there about music, but another way I get some good training in following Jesus is by listening to radio with lots of good preachers. I rarely know who I’m listening to, but God always seems to give me something. There is one guy I know, though, and I think he’s my favorite – Chip Ingram.
His ministry is called “Living on the Edge- helping Christians live like Christians.” And that’s what he does. He is so practical with his teaching, and at the end usually gives a real life challenge, a way to live it out.
So, the other day I searched a topic on google, and his series LOVE ONE ANOTHER came up.
You guys – SO GOOD!!!
I’ve already told like 5 people about it!
Each message is about 20 minutes long. Tony and I are listening to it together. And I’m going to try to write about what God is teaching us through it on here. I would LOVE it if some of you all would too and share your thoughts on it! I especially would love our church people to listen to it.
I think it would be awesome to start a LOVE REVOLUTION at Watson! Join us!!
I know a few amazing people who get up at 5 am, and have time with God before everyone else gets up.
I aspire to be like them. Someday I will do this.
Someday ~ when I have it all together…
But for now, here are…