A great part of the conquest of breaking the habit of sin has to do with our determination to do so. The Bible commands us to be holy as He is holy. We speak a lot about the 10 Commandments of the Old Testament, however have you noticed the hundreds of commands in the New Testament? There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament. We are commanded to love one another. We have been commanded to be cheerful givers. The list could go on and on. The reason we are commanded these things in the New Testament is because as believers under grace we are more likely not to do them. Pick a New Testament book, maybe start with a smaller book first like James or Philippians and make a note every time the Word tells/commands you as a believer to do something. Our Christian life is filled with decisions about how we walk out our lives.
What if we can a hurt and confess that there is someone we cannot forgive. The ability to forgive can come only through the blood of Jesus Christ. But we have to do our part and choose to forgive. Our emotions and thoughts will always tell us "no" when it comes to forgiveness, but God's Word, God's Spirit and God's character say yes we can, by a choice to do so.
Our part is to confess to God clearly that we have sin in our heart. Then we are to renounce it with all the faith and strength we have. We do not struggle against it, we confess it and renounce it as sin, fit only for the Lake of Fire. We resolve in the future to draw near to God and to resist this sin, not struggle against it, just not give it any more place in our life. Then we rest in the Word of God and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Why is it that Jesus and the cross is always enough for victory when dealing with someone else's sin, but never seems to be enough for ours?
Often such clear confessing and renouncing, followed by a determination to resist, is all that is needed. In other words we make a decision against that sin and that settles it. Other times we need to declare war and have a series of battles and a prolonged decision making process until the habit and stronghold in our mind and body has been broken and replaced with the Word of truth.
Remember what I said in earlier posts. I am not in debt to my flesh. I do not owe my flesh anything that I should obey it.
Romans 8:12-13 ESV So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (13) For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We must choose to die daily. We put to death the misdeeds of the body.
1 Corinthians 15:31 ESV (31) I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
Galatians 2:20 ESV I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We are not in athletic contest against sin, we are in a war against sin and our enemy. Sin is an evil, vicious, subtle, cunning, wicked monster that dwells in our flesh. We are to kill it! crush it! strike it until it is dead! This means we are in the offensive mode and charging after the sin within us. Paul says the God of peace will crush Satan under our feet.
We cannot treat demons gently. We cannot coax them. Demons love to reason and are more than happy to have you talk to them by the hour. Jesus did not let the demons speak. He did not have the time to listen to their endless arguments.
We have to decide once and for all that whatever we are doing that is condemned by the Word of God must leave. You can yell at it if you like. Anything that will prove to you, the enemy, and the stronghold of sin that you mean what you are saying.
If you say to your dog, “Honey, wouldn’t you like to get off Mother’s bed? There’s a darling.” What do you think the dog will do? He will lay there and look at you. If you frown at the dog, advance on him or her in a threatening manner, and say, “Get off my bed now!” the dog will do what you command. Now dog lovers, this is an illustration, stay calm.
It is the same way with the stronghold of sin. You cannot address sin with loving endearment sweet phrases. Neither can you say, “I know I shouldn’t do this, but.” You have to treat your sin like a dirty muddy dog on your new clean sheets. It is learning by communion with the Father to hate the sin in us as much as God hates it. How much does the Father hate the sin in me? The sin in me cost the death of the Son of God as a sacrifice to pay the price of sins penalty over me, sins power in me and sins presence throughout me.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSI Ministry, RSI School of Ministry, and RSI Publishing L.L.C..