“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them.” (1 John 3:9, NLT)
Does it seems like the things that we should not take part in or do not need, are the things that we desire? For example, a nice warm double chocolate dessert, is something I do not need, but when I feel stressed (yes, I sometimes can be an emotional eater.) it seems to bring me comfort. My mind gets off of the thing that stressed me out. I feel relaxed. My taste buds are happy. However, that pleasure is short lived. And once I get on the scale and see my weight has gone back up AGAIN, and my clothes are getting too tight again, I start feeling stressed all over again. Then what do I do because I’m feeling stressed? yep, go get something chocolate again. It’s a viscous cycle.
This is how sin works. It brings temporary pleasure to the flesh. This pleasure can become so strong that it can become addictive. We desire, even crave for something to make us feel good. Something to make us forget our disappointments, failures, stress and unhappiness. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, if it brings pleasure to the flesh, we will feel we have to have it.
The problem with this is that the desires of the flesh are always contrary to the word of God. We will find ourselves in a battle with our own selves. Romans 7:18-20 describes this state perfectly:
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
In our spirit we want to do right. We know we should leave it alone. We want to stop, but it seems like finding the strength to stop is no where to be found. So instead we justify our actions. “God understands.” “It feels so right, so how could it be wrong.” “Other people are doing things way worst off than I am.” Excuse after excuse we will make, just so that we can continue to feed the desires of our flesh.
Some people will even try to act as if they are not sure if it is sin or not. This is easy to clarify. If it opposes the word of God, it’s sin. If it is not drawing you closer to God, flee from it. If it’s going to weaken your witness for Christ, it needs to be left alone. If it’s not going to bring glory to God or if it’s going to cause a new convert to stumble, stay away from it. There is no justification to sin. It will cause you to lose your relationship with God. It’s not that God will stop loving you, but you will eventually stop loving him. You can not do both. You may say “No, I still love God.” However, if this was true, if you really loved him you would keep his commandments (John 14:15). The bible says “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galations 5:16)
So what do you do when you want to stop, but can’t find the strength to stop. The answer is in Luke 9:23-24
23. Then He said to them all, if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
The flesh brings temporary pleasure, denial of the flesh brings temporary pain. The flesh will lead you away from God, denial of your flesh will bring you closer to him. To put the flesh under subjection we have to be willing to deny ourselves and anytime we deny our selves the flesh is going to cry out like a spoiled child. It wants what it wants and until it is crucified you will find yourself in agony. However, this agony is only temporary. It will soon quiet itself if you choose to continue to deny it the things that it wants. You have to be willing to hurt, willing to go through some pain, willing to go through some discomfort knowing that God will give you strength to overcome, if you stay with him. You have to want to be delivered more than you want to sin.
So what do you do? Separate yourself from the things or the people who are causing you to sin. If your flesh begins to cry, then let it cry but still say “NO”. I’m not doing it. I’m not giving in. I will not get off path. It is not going to kill you to let your flesh with it’s desires suffer. Speak the word of God over it. Do not give in to the discomfort or the pain-it’s only temporary. Meditate on God’s word, his power, his love and his commandments. Cry out to God to help you, confess your weaknesses to him. God is faithful to help you. He will turn your mess into a message and will bless someone’s else life through your story. But most importantly your relationship with God will be restored. You are standing on right grounds with him again. You can freely come into his presence and call on him in the time of need, and He will hear you when you call. He will be a father to you and you will be his child.
We all mess up, but in this post we are focusing on those who are practicing sin while confessing salvation. Those who find themselves doing it over and over because a stronghold is involved or either they have a weak desire to stop-they really don’t want to. This is not God’s plan for you. This is not his purpose for you. You can not serve the flesh and God. If you’re going to walk after the flesh then that’s your choice, but if you are saying that you are walking after the Spirit then you have to let some things go. You can not have one foot in and one foot out. Have you no fear of God? Do you not know, God sees? Do you not know, God hears?”
14″Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 16The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods;…
God loves you and he is right there to help you through this. He understands how it made you feel but he understand even more how it’s going to destroy you if you continued on with it. He loves you and he understands you, but he has a life so much better than what you are practicing.
From my heart to yours, I ask that you please share this message. I know there is someone out there who needs to read it. Thanks in advance!
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Table of Contents Love is patient, Love is kind – Bible Verse 1 Corinthians 13…August 22, 2014