Recently I have been thinking a lot about sin. Yes, about committing some (YEP I confessed), but mostly how tired I am of certain ones I have been facing, committing and repenting of for too long.
There are things I know are wrong for me to do and although I have been struggling against them I find myself doing them over and over again.
Have you ever said to yourself, I am so tired of going to God and repenting of this?
Or have you ever spoken the words of repentance because you know you should, but all the while were thinking of doing that same thing again?
Have you ever failed at overcoming some sin in your life so much so you seriously considered giving up the fight against it? You figure it’s just something you have to live with?
Have you ever been in the middle of a repentance prayer and thought, I really don’t want to give this up. You hear the Holy Spirit talking to you but you are not feeling anything He is saying?
So having issues like these prompted me to study again this topic.
So of course as is always with me it starts with questions:……
What is a sin?
Why does God not want us to sin? Is He trying to prevent us from having a “good time?” Is He trying to deprive us of those things we enjoy the most?
Who defines what sin is?
Is what is sin to you necessarily sin to me?
If something is a sin and I have been struggling against it for a long time but losing, is it still considered a sin?
By definition sin is “failing to hit the mark” whether it occurs by omission or commission, in thought and feeling or in speech and action. It is defined by the bible and some are specific to you as identified by the Holy Spirit.
So how can sin happen?
Sin can happen by accident, ie you missed what God commanded but it was not your intention to sin….example? (someone cuts you off while driving and you curse them out, chase them down and curse them out some more)
Sin can happen by trickery, the enemy can create a scenario you did not look for or seek out that causes you to yield to sin…..example? (An old friend calls and wants you to meet them at a bar because they are having issues, they won’t take no for an answer and you go, you know you struggle with alcohol and God has made it clear it’s not for you, but you go anyway and end up drinking to excess)
Sin can happen on purpose. There are those things from your past you enjoyed that you know God does not want you to do, but you continue to do them anyway. You rationalize by saying I’m only human. God knows how much I love this. He knows this is my weakness. The bible says I am going to make mistakes this is just one of them.
These are things we know are wrong and yet we find ourselves wanting to do them, planning to do them and actually doing them.
This last type is the type we want to focus on tonight.
Have any of you ever wanted to do something that you know is wrong?
Have you ever plotted, planned and executed that sin despite the fact you knew God did not want you to do it?
Have you ever ignored the Holy Spirit who was telling you to resist, who was providing a way for you to escape (1 Cor 10:13) and decided in your mind that the sin is what you wanted despite God’s direction?
So how does it happen? How do we come to sin? There are many answers to this question but the bible says:
Consider James 1:12-22
This passage basically tells us the path of sin. A few translations from the Greek are listed to bring clarity.
Tempted – tested
Own – private
Lust – longing or desire
Enticed – entrap
Hath conceived – clasp, seize, arrest, capture
Bringeth forth – born
Sin – the offense
Finished – completed entirely
Bringeth forth – produces
Death – separation – death comprises all the miseries arising from sin
NOTICE: All of this starts in your mind. The battle to sin or not to sin starts in the mind with a suggestion.
Once we embrace the suggestion, the rationalization and planning of the sin is the next step. Before we know it we have done the very thing we know is not what we should do.
Sometimes we even convince ourselves it’s not a sin at all or at least it is an acceptable one.
Remember the enemy has been studying you your whole life. He knows your likes and dislikes, he knows your weaknesses.
Also remember he will always lie. Lie about whether or not what you are doing is a sin, lie about the consequences and will never disclose the potential collateral damage or pain your actions will cause you or others.
The devil never wants you to look past the current moment. He wants you to react to situations and circumstances like they are going to last forever rather than them just being a temporary situation God will change in His timing.
Even though the battle is with our flesh, the devil is always around trying to assist the flesh in getting us to yield to its desires.
Our reborn spirit is not where the struggle is. Our spirits want to be obedient to God in all cases, it’s our flesh that is in opposition to the will of God.
Consider Romans 6
In this passage God is saying we are dead to sin. We are dead to sin because we have been baptized into life. We are dead to sin and because of this we are to not yield to the temptation of it but yield instead to God.
He asks us what fruit or what results did we obtain following a lifestyle of sin? Even if there were no obvious or outward consequences of our actions, we possibly had a guilty conscience or perhaps were not at peace with ourselves as a result of what we did.
He advises us to yield ourselves to God where we know what the results will be. Everything good, no negative results, peace with God and man.
So let’s say we agree with all that, let’s say we even have experienced those moments where we have been winners in our personal war with ourself and we have successfully put down the flesh and followed after our spirits, why is it that at some point we can find ourself facing and failing at the same sin again?
In Romans 6 God asked us to reckon(think of) ourselves dead to sin. In this verse he means we must decide in our mind that we are dead to sin. We must have an attitude adjustment based on what He says is true.
We are dead to sin. Our attitude even in the midst of our failures must be, I am dead to this. Because each time we confess to that thing that we keep doing, we are dead to it, it loses more and more of its power over us. And the day will come if we don’t give up when we will actually demonstrate our freedom from it.
Sin only has the power over us we give it. We need a victorious attitude as well as victorious words despite our actions. Sometimes God will give us an immediate deliverance from something, but even after that we must choose to stay delivered and walk in it. We have an active part to play in our continued deliverance over anything.
As we said before, satan knows us and our habits, weaknesses and failures, and although you may have not fallen in an area in a long time, do not think he will not attempt at some point to give you an opportunity to fall again in the very area you claim to have victory over.
So let’s go back to why God doesn’t want us to sin.
One reason is because every time we sin, something dies.
Remember the scripture says when sin is conceived it brings forth death…
That could be death of a relationship
Death of a testimony
Death of credibility
Death of our confidence….this is an important one…
Scripture says in Hebrews 10:35 we should not cast away our confidence because there is great reward in it.
When we sin we lose our confidence toward God….we have a problem going boldly to the throne, we are ashamed.
Losing our confidence can make us lose our faith that God will continue to bless us or use us.
Remember guilt and faith do not go together. You cannot have guilt or even condemnation in your heart and approach God in faith with expectation. 1 John 3:20-21
God also does not want us to continue in sin because
We will be at peace
We will have the desires of our heart
He can bless us more when we are obedient
It makes our testimony more credible
He can fulfill His purpose for us
He can trust us with more of His anointing
And the list goes on
But one thing that God has made more and more prominent in my mind is that He does not want us to sin because it allows us to have a closer relationship with Him.
Whether or not we have sin in our life does not change God’s level of love for us. He loves us completely all the time, before, during and after sin.
Sin does not change Him it changes us.
Remember He is holy and in Him is no sin at all. When we have confidence toward Him we will draw near to Him unafraid and unashamed and without guilt which is exactly what He wants.
God did not create us to save the lost, to engage in ministry, or to build His kingdom, those things are a result of the fall of man.
God created us for fellowship with Him first and foremost. And that desire He has for fellowship with us has not changed.
So how do we win this war against our flesh? Remember it is not our spirit that is sinning it is our flesh.
1. Listen to our protector the Holy Spirit who always provides a way of escape.
The Holy Spirit may tell you to do or not do things because He knows the consequences of our actions and we do not. And because God is a God of faith, more often than not He will not explain to you why you are to obey Him He just wants us to trust Him and believe what He advises is the best.
2. Joshua 1:8 – meditate on the word, keep it in your mind, heart and mouth. If God says you are dead to sin then you say it too. Change your attitude by agreeing with what the word says is already true. But you must be consistent in this. Studying your word once a month will not be enough….your temptations are going to come daily (John 16:33) tribulation means pressure….the pressures of life will always come…..we just cannot revert to the old things we used to do to deal with them.
3. If and when you fall get right back up. Understand that every time you get back up, every time you struggle again and again you are killing that thing you struggle against.
4. Ask God for help….if you are sinning and don’t want to give up that thing but know you should, tell God exactly that, God help me have the desire to stop this…understand killing the flesh is a daily exercise not a one time event.
5. Here’s a hard one……consider the cost of your sin. This is what the Holy Spirit tries to get us to do early in the planning stages of our sinning. He will remind you of the outcome of your choice, He will remind you of your pledge to never do it again, He will remind you of what happened last time. He will remind you of your destiny.
And most importantly, when we don’t purposely sin, it’s not about what we are not doing, it’s about what we are doing. And what we are doing is nurturing our relationship with God.