Today, March 13, 2001, the Lord gave me this update to this page...The following verses are all you really need to overcome sin. They say in essence, "Seek out righteousness and you WILL depart from evil." Start serving the Lord and let go of anything that is not of Him.Proverbs 16:6 BY MERCY AND TRUTH iniquity is purged: and BY THE FEAR OF THE LORD men depart from evil.
REPENT and call upon the mercy of the Lord. Tell Him that you need Holy Ghost intervention. Tell the Lord you want to know Jesus Christ in His fullness and that you want to be holy. If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord WILL NOT hear thee.
Psalms 34:14 Depart from evil, and DO GOOD; SEEK PEACE, AND PURSUE IT.
Psalms 37:27 Depart from evil, and DO GOOD; AND DWELL FOR EVERMORE.
"But I just can't do it!"Proverbs 13:19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
There are many professing Christians that write to us with recurring sin problems, especially lust. I've had readers tell me that they despair of life because they can't seem to overcome sin. They feel that they are slaves to the sin and it causes them to do things that are almost frightening. Jesus came to deliver from the GUILT of sin and the POWER of sin. When a person has recurring sin, the fault does not lie in the power of God, it lies in the disobedient person that refuses to do His will.
This article is not for the unbeliever--without Jesus Christ, that person is helpless and hellbound--they need to go to How to Get Eternal Life. If you are a professing believer and you keep sinnin' with abandon, you need to take a good look at yourself and determine if you are in the faith. "Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates?" If you are found in the faith you need to call on Jesus and make the necessary sacrifices in order to be free from sin. Sin shall have no reign over the mortal body of those who are led by the Spirit of Christ.
This article is for the Christian who has recurring sin in his life and wants it out! Your sin does not have to be lust though this one of the biggest ones people write here about. Your problem could be submission to your husband, loving your wife the way Christ loved the church, licentiousness/lasciviousness/uncleanness/pornography, obeying your parents, rock music, disobedience, etc. ALL Christians need to turn off the hell-I-vision. It is sin and it evil affects every one of 'em.
What I'd like to do here is give very practical (Biblical) ways that you can overcome sin--if you will follow these guidelines, you will overcome through the blood of the Lamb. At the end of some points is a "Practical Application" that you can use as you strive for the victory. We need to get off the rat wheels of self-absorption and start serving the Lord of a truth.
Point Number 1: When you sin, you do it because you want to.
One more time--when you sin, you do it because you want to. "The devil made me do it," is a fallacy. The only thing that Satan can do is tempt you in order to draw out the lusts that are already resident within your wicked human heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says:The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?Jesus himself talked about the heart in Matthew 15:19:For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
You need to ask Jesus to search your inward parts and purge them from all evil. Even then, you must remember that your flesh will always war against the Spirit for control of your mind (Gal 5:17, James 4:5). I have the same hands that I did when I was a hellbound sinner. But, hallelujah, they don't do the same works because I now MORTIFY the deeds of the body. I've got that Holy Ghost power. He convicts me of sin and unrighteousness and I do what He tells me to do. I do not obey the flesh and the lusts thereof. You get Holy Ghost power by reading the Bible, obeying it, praying and fasting. Paul said, I keep under my body and BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION.
Someone may say to me, "But I hate my sin, I don't do it on purpose." Well, I don't believe you. Let me break it down like this...You hate burning the skin off of your hand don't you? You really hate it. As a result you do not go put your hand on a burnin' hot stove. If you truly hate something you do not do it. You HATE having your hand burnt off so you don't put it in fire. When it comes to your sin whether lust, gluttony of food, etc. you DON'T hate it. Stop lying. When you lie on top of it you are adding iniquity to iniquity. You may feel guilty about your sin but you do not hate it. Just admit that you enjoy it because if you didn't you wouldn't do it. The Bible says that there is pleasure in sin, for a season--and it is an exceeding short season.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: You need to say this out loud:"Dear Lord, I LIKE to ________________________ (fill in the blank with your sin). This is sin Lord. I willingly do it because I like it. Father, I feel so guilty when I do this but I keep doing it over and over again anyway. I have insincerely prayed for this sin to cease. Please forgive me in accordance with 1 John 1:9."Point Number 2: Every single time that you are tempted to sin, you have a decision to make.
What decisions are set in front of you?
- "I am going to do it."
- "I am not going to do it".
The decision rests with you alone. No person and no devil MAKES you to sin. No one puts a gun to your head. You need to admit that you sin of your own evil volition. Your own lust leads you to commit sin. Lust is not just speaking of whoredom--it's any depraved affection, evil propensity or unlawful carnal desire. It is to have an eager desire for the gratification of carnal appetites. Lust can also be irregular or inordinate desires (see Webster's 1828 dictionary).
James 1:13-15 is very instructive concerning how temptation turns into actual sin. Man takes his own silly, evil self into sin. Temptation is not sin, sucumbing to it is. The following are good points from James chapter 1:
- God does not tempt you!
James 1:13, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
- You are tempted by your own LUST. The temptation comes and YOU keep your eyes fixed on it and your lust draws you deep into it. You are enticed.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
- Once you are enticed, your flesh yearns for the object of your lust and finally yields to the temptation. That is when sin occurs. Everytime you give in, you are stabbing yourself spiritually. Our hearts get hard when we sin. We don't want to talk to the Lord or read the Bible.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: You need to...Realize that when temptation to sin comes your way you have a choice to make. You are not helpless. Jesus died to redeem you from the curse! There is victory in Jesus! Don't keep sinning and then asking God to deliver you. It is up to you to say, "No!" when the sin comes your way. We are going to talk about some things to decrease the number of times you are tempted as well as how to get out of those times you are about to sucumb. You can pray something like this--Point Number 3: Ask God's blessing on everything you do.
"Father God, I am so weak and gutless and disobedient. Please forgive me. Please help me to stop going as an ox to the slaughter when it comes to sin. Even a simple bird will not fly into trap that it can see. In the past, I haven't had the sense of a bird. I see a trap and keep on walking right into it. A wild animal has more sense than I have had. I've been ridiculous, please drive this point home to me Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen."
This is an extremely important point. Get in the habit of asking God's blessing on the different activities in your life. When you feel tempted to sin, say out loud, "Lord, be THOU exalted" and then take the proper course of action. You need to say that OUT LOUD. Many times your flesh will tell you not to say it because you want to do the evil, but if you are a Christian and you say this OUT LOUD I do not see how you can go ahead and sin.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: You need to pray..."Father God, please give me remembrance to ask your blessing on ALL that I do. If I cannot ask your blessing on it, it is SIN. Please convict me. Please increase my desire to do Thy will, O God. In Jesus' name, Amen."Point Number 4: If you enjoy the same things that the world does, you are going to yield fruit just like theirs.
Do you watch hellivision? Do you go to see all the latest the movies? Do you watch HBO and R-rated hellywood trash? Do you believe everything that the 6 o'clock newsman tells you? If so, then you are putting dung into your mind. Is it any wonder you have no self-control?
I'm going to make it personal here. This is for the wives. Do you still continue in the "independent spirit" that you learned from the world? The Bible word for that spirit is REBELLION and it is as the sin of WITCHCRAFT (I Sam 15:23). Rebellious wives are witches working their sorcery. Do you think that every decision in your marriage is subject to YOUR approval? I've got news for you, the Bible says you are a helpmeet to your husband. He is your protector who will probably consult you, but the final decision is up to him. When you argue with your husband and try to run the house, you are in rebellion to the word of God. This is worldly, sensual, devilish. Forget about women's bondage...er, women's lib and return to God's way.
Christian Reader, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? If you are worldly you are a friend of the world. And whosoever will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God. If you are totally at one with this world, I suggest you check out our article entitled, "Who are You?".
When we think like this old wicked world, our minds are alienated from Christ. The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The battle here is NOT really over your particular sin. The battle is for YOUR MIND. There are all kinds of minds in the scriptures. Where are you in this list?
- There are pure minds:
II Peter 3:1...your pure minds...
There are corrupt minds:
I Timothy 6:5 and II Timothy 3:8... men of corrupt minds...
II Corinthians11:3 But I fear, lest by any means...your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
- There are weary and faint minds
Hebrews 12:3 ...lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds...
- There are minds kept by God:
Philippians 4:7 ...the peace of God...shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- There are blind minds
II Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. (see also II Cor 3:14)
- There are minds that have been made evil affected by wicked men.
Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
But how do I change my mind?2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
I've had young people ask, "How do I know the will of the Lord?" There is only one way--the Bible. You need to read it everyday and read it diligently. It will make you holy. You must listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. If the Holy Ghost is telling you that something is wrong, don't override Him and do it anyway.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: You need to say this out loud:"Lord I need a change of mind. I've been letting my mind wander and meditate on evil things. I have not read your word like I should and I have not obeyed like I should. As a result, my life seems out of control in some areas. I hereby confess that the Bible is true and that I will discipline myself to read it and obey it continually. Please increase my desire for Thee. In Jesus' name, Amen."Point Number 5: Get rid all things that cause you temptation.
Jesus said if thine eye offend thee pluck it out! In other words, remove from you that which causes you to offend. Here are some examples:
- If you are an internet porno junkie and cannot resist going to porno--get rid of the internet and the computer if necessary 'cause you can' t handle it.
- If you can't stop watching hellivision, get rid of it! I ain't gonna kill you. In an amazingly short period of time you won't long for it and it'll make you sick when you do see the trash on there. We have a tv used exclusively for Christian videos. There is a blank blue screen so I don't see trash. There is a whole other world outside of hellivision. These are dark days. The harvest is plenteous and we need laborers, not couch potatoes.
- If you have debts, don't go to the mall shopping. Take the attitude that every paycheck belongs to your creditors--because it does. The Bible says that the borrower is servant to the lender. You are a slave workin' for your redemption.
- If you "love" heavy metal (I cannot quite understand this one for a Christian), destroy all your CDs, t-shirts, and posters. And if you look like a freak, get yourself in order.
- If you keep fornicating, young woman, get rid of the harlot clothing and get some modest clothing. If you're a young man, stop pouring out your whoredoms on loose foolish women.
- If you can't seem to stop eating everything in sight, say "No!" to the chow. Don't go buying junk food so you can stuff your face. If you are obese, you shouldn't be eating dessert until you've gotten yourself under control.
- If you are a rebellious wife, keep your mouth shut and be grateful for what you've got.
This is about temperance, discipline, and mortification. This is possible, joyous (!), when we make up our MINDS to do things the holy way. Get rid of the temptation. If the problem is inanimate like books, etc. burn 'em up like the people of Acts 19 did their curious arts!
Point Number 6: If temptation comes upon you suddenly, you still have choices.
If we avoid those things/people that tempt us, we will have achieved a huge measure of success. But even when temptation is in our face we don't have to just dumbly sit there and go into the trap. You can:
- Ask King Jesus to exalt Himself and His doctrine in the situation. This should really cool off that lust and it should make you afraid to do evil--if you know the Lord of a truth.
- PHYSICALLY LEAVE THE ROOM AND GO AROUND OTHER PEOPLE
- CALL SOMEBODY
- QUOTE SCRIPTURE out loud (you need to have verses memorized)
- REBUKE THE DEVIL in the name of Jesus
- Listen to your favorite praise and worship hymns.
Point Number 7: Fill up your life by (1) sharing the gospel and (2) using your spiritual gifts.
The Christian life is not about warming a pew bench on Sundays, it is about serving the Lord. Because many professing Christians DON'T serve the Lord, they have a lot of idle time on their hands and they fill up their time like the world does. This is unacceptable to the Lord. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. We have an article on spiritual gifts and the characteristics of people that have various gifts.
Point Number 8: We have the victory through Jesus Christ.
Never forget that our Lord and Master Jesus Christ is powerful! If He could raise the dead, make the deaf to hear, heal the blind man and the leper--He can handle our needs.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: You need to say this out loud:"Lord Jesus, I know that you CAN DO ANYTHING and that I have the victory through your blood, I am sorry for my spiritual slothfulness and lack of discipline."
MEDITATION VERSES: I Corinthians 15:57 and I John 5:4
Point Number 9: We must discipline ourselves.
Jesus said that if we want to be His disciples we must deny ourselves:Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself...
By the Holy Ghost, Paul said that we are to keep under our bodies and BRING THEM into subjection.1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
I will give you an example of denying ourselves and keeping under our bodies. One summer I was at home and all of a sudden a huge urge to watch hellivision came over me. Then all of a sudden it was like the Lord said to me, "Don't watch it". So then WITH MY MOUTH I said, "I am NOT going to watch tv". Then I went about my day praising and worshipping the Lord. What a day of praise that was! In retrospect, I can see that that was a turning point in my life. I am determined that NOTHING will have any power over me except The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.
When the Holy Ghost is trying to tell you something will you listen to Him or Satan? If the answer is Satan then you can fully expect that he will be whoopin' up on your hind parts all up and down the street.
Point Number 10: Memorize Scripture.
Spend time memorizing passages of scripture that speak to you. Psalm 1 is an excellent start. It only has six verses. Once you truly internalize it, you will feel the power as you recite it out loud. Fill your life up with the things of Christ.
Point Number 11: Go to church.
Attend all church meetings and functions
Point Number 12: Fast.
See our article on fasting.
There is only one reason we exist, to exalt the name of Jesus Christ and His doctrine. This life is not about you in any respect. It is about Jesus. When a man truly gets ahold of this, he has stepped into a whole other spiritual realm...you will feel peace, purpose, understanding, wisdom and knowledge. Your life will truly be hid in Christ. Not just in word, but in fact.
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