WHY SIN WINS
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
If someone asked me the question, “Would you like to be like Jesus today?” I would say yes. That is the deepest desire of my heart. So what happens when my desire is overridden by my next sin? Was my intent just not strong enough? Was I just trying to do this on my own without the Holy Spirit’s help? Ok, so what does it really mean to tap into the Spirit’s power? Once again, we are often handed clichés without explanations. “Change is only possible through the help of the Holy Spirit.”
Most of my sin is not pre-meditated. I love Jesus and would never set out to offend Him and create a distance in our relationship. Yet, today I will sin. Why is that? I’ve been praying about that through the night and asking God to help me understand this better.
Sin happens for several reasons.
- I don’t know myself well and so I don’t know where I habitually cave. Only as I understand my weaknesses (through time in the Word and the instruction of the Holy Spirit) can I be strategic to plan ahead for what I’ll do when tempted.
- I have learned to sin, by default, and it’s an entrenched pattern from childhood. Perhaps my family did it and it naturally became part of me. Anything deeply entrenched, ignored for a period of time, becomes a stronghold.
- At the point of temptation, there is an immediate payoff that wins over the larger desire to be like Jesus. If I’m angry, I get a rush from telling someone off. If I’m depressed, I get a payoff from other’s attention and pity. Satan’s way is to offer counterfeit ways to get out of pain by sinning.
What is the answer for me, for you? It is to design a plan. I don’t just wait for the next temptation and try to handle it when it happens. I take time with Jesus to look at my biggest area of failure. Then:
- I ask God to show me why I do it.
- I confess my sin of caving in and enjoying the payoff.
- I find 3-5 scriptures that address my temptation and have them ever before me.
- I ask the Holy Spirit to write them on my heart, keep them on the forefront of my mind, so that when I’m tempted, I can recite them out loud.
- I commit this plan to God and ask the Holy Spirit to enable me to follow it – no matter the cost.
I am a child of the kingdom. I have a new father and no longer belong to this world. I am hard on my sin, serious about the power of the Word, and am destined to walk in the light. If those around me who yet live in the dark are not wincing because there is Light in their eyes, I haven’t yet discovered what it means to live like Jesus.
I want to be radical about this, Lord. I want my life to affect other people as yours did. Continue to unveil the pathway to victory. Amen