Dealing With the Root
I don’t know about everyone else, but I know my struggles. They are clear as day and I know where I need to make adjustments even though sometimes I may pretend to be blind to them. My question that I want you to answer to yourself truthfully is this: Do I have a reoccurring sin or struggle in my life that aims to weigh me down every time I try to go forward? Maybe you don’t have one and that’s fine, I don’t believe you but that is okay. The first step to growth is realizing change needs to be made.
So the bible says in Hebrews 12:1 to lay aside every weight and the sin that easily trips us up. A weight is something in our lives that may not be sinful, but they are very well distracting. Playing video games, hours of netflix/social media/or liking material things may not be sins whatsoever, but they become idols when they consume all of our time, affection and attention. Many times I’ve cut off my “weights”, but I realized that in a matter of hours, days or weeks I will definitely be back in the same sin or bondage. Why? Why is it that we can be sincere when we cry out to God and still go back to the same sin/distraction that we know cannot satisfy our souls?
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)
Jesus lets us know clearly that the spiritual battle we are in is much more serious than some people believe. If God frees you from bondage, that is such a remarkable thing. I praise God for deliverance, but that is just the beginning. You have to understand that God did his part and now it is time for you to do yours. The bible says that this man’s spirit was swept and garnished, but still empty. Too many of us have the masks on that make us look so spiritual from the outside. God cleansed us and it’s even obvious in our demeanor, but what happens when there is no substance within us? You will simply fall back into the same sin later and sometimes things even worse.
For example, if you ask God to deliver you from masturbation or pornography. God can very well forgive you, cleanse you and give you a new beginning. But do you think He can force you to have godly desires? He can push you in the right direction but you have to move your feet. You would have to decide to open your bible and pray rather than engaging in things that could lead to those struggles. Right? If God freed you from that relationship that was just pure lust, fornication and adultery. Yes, He will forgive, but do you think He can force you to delete their number or the pictures? Can He force us to unfollow them and stop stalking their page? You see God knows you will have memories and be tempted to go back to where He delivered you from, but God doesn’t want to cut off your temptation, He wants to strip you of your desire to go back to them.
Three Ways to Overcome Your Ungodly Desires
Stop acting like you do not know it’s wrong.
God will not send you anything to distract you from Him.
If you have to hide, cover it, or keep it secretive, it needs to go! David never wanted Bathsheba’s husband to be around until he didn’t want to take responsibility for the child that he shouldn’t have brought into the world. David was warned by his men before he sent for her, he knew she was married. Never ignore your warning.
Many times we know within ourselves something feels wrong, but we try to avoid the voice of God. That isn’t just your conscious bothering you, that’s God telling you to stop playing with fire! We cannot twist scripture to justify our lifestyles, we must use scriptures to transform the way we live.
I’ve cut off many things, connections and environments to get closer to God. Sometimes I’ve returned right back to it, which is ridiculous. We have to replace these ungodly desires with ones that please God.
Letting go of a lustful relationship is great, but what are you going to do after? So many of us “cut someone off”, but we never use our new free time to spend time with God. So now all of your free time is spent going through old pictures, reminiscing, and thinking about them. Eventually your body will go after what your heart and mind is focused on.
Let’s say you struggle with music that you know is filth (I am not going to tell you what to listen to). So you cut off anything that you feel distracts you. However, you never replaced it with Christian music or something that uplifts your soul, eventually you’ll go back to what keeps your heart focused on everything except God. Or you like books like 50 Shades of Grey, you know its trash but you will go right back to it if you don’t feed your spirit with the bible, Christian books, or things that can benefit your mind and spirit.
It is easy to walk on the straight and narrow road, but the challenge is in our consistency. We have to let our commitment keep us when the emotions are gone. I can say “I love You, Jesus” at church, but the challenge comes outside of the building and the temptations arise.
Don’t think consistency means you won’t fail, but it means you are wise enough to get back up and get your eyes on the prize.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)
The devil knows your weaknesses, he studies us and knows more about us than some of us know about ourselves. He knows what you like and He will wait a day or years to catch us to let our guards down. He will allow you to read this and be encouraged or convicted, and still tempt you before the day is over if you aren’t careful. So it is not enough to be committed today and relax tomorrow. Part-time Christians will never overcome fighting against full-time demons. Keep your guard up.
You may think it’s okay to go back to sinful environments now that you are delivered, but you have to be realistic with yourself. Don’t say you are going to the club to be a witness for Jesus, and you know within yourself that a half naked person can pull your mind right back into sin and tempt you.
Don’t say “God delivered me from being an alcoholic/drug addict, I can handle a drink or two/one puff won’t kill me”. Playing with fire will cause you to get burned.
Before we think that people need to stop tempting us to sin, remember that we are only tempted when its things of our own sinful nature (James 1:14). You can’t tempt me to steal because I won’t budge, I never struggle with that. There are other things I have to battle with daily. In order to live a life of victory, it’s time to stop entertaining ourselves that keep us walking in defeat.
It is not that hard to live for God, but it’s only easy when we choose to realize that the things He freed us from were not that great. Sin has temporary pleasure, but never a lasting peace after. Joy and real pleasure is only found when we get in the presence of God; we need to get into His presence if we want to see the proof that nothing this world has to offer is able to compare (Psalms 16:11). People think Christians are slaves to rules, but they are really slaves to feelings, sin and are empty. What we have in Christ is better than what we gave up to follow Him. It’s time to let God deal with the root of our “sin problem”, our deceitful and desperately wicked hearts.
Grace and peace,