Re:Vitalise | Stopping the Sin Cycle
Sometimes we think that when we become Christians, either we are perfect or we must be perfect and when we are not, when we sin terribly against God, then there is nothing for us to do but spin deeper into our own sinfulness.
We all fall short of the Glory of God
We might disappear in the pattern of our sinfulness because we recognise our inability to fix the problem. Apostle Paul struggled with the vicious cycle of his sinful nature. He says “For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” Romans 7:19 AMP.
It is not simply a matter of recognising our sin. And although we must repent of our sins before God, we can have a repentant spirit and confess our sins and still return to our own evil desires, just as Paul explains. So how do we break the pattern of sins hold on our lives?
1. God is stronger than our Struggles
First, we have help from God. God knows we are weak in our power, let us revert back to Romans 7, Paul is confessing his wretched state of sin, that is spiralling cycle that keeps pulling him away from what he knows is right and good.
This is the same man who wrote mightily under the power of the Holy Spirit the letters we read in the Bible, yet, he too struggled just like us. Paul remembers the power of God to overcome his weakness.
“Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this drr of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? Thanks are to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then, on the one hand, I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25 AMP
And we can take comfort and confidence in the knowledge that according to 2 Corinthians 2:16
“to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a strong fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things?”
Therefore we can be strong in the assurance that though we are struggling in our own weaknesses, whatever they may be, God is stronger.
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 ESV
2. Put on the Full Armour of God
We have the power of God to defeat evil, wrong desires, evil thoughts, unwise actions, and the like with the weapons God has given us.
Paul tells us to put on the full armour of God: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the Word of God and the shoes fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, ” Ephesians 6:14-17
In this way, believers can stand firm against the evil attacks of the enemy. We have all we need to take charge of temptation and pitfalls. We have faith in Christ, which is a gift from God; the Word of God is set before us in the Bible we read; the righteousness that we received not because of the fact that Christ died of our sins.
3. Renew the Mind
God shows us how to control our sin nature. Let's begin with our mind; we harbour thoughts that are contrary to the will of God. Perhaps we are jealous, we have lustful thoughts, before these thoughts turn into actions that go against Gods desires, we must control them.
The Bible tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, ” 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
We, as believers must know the Word of God. This is an essential ingredient in renewing our minds; we need to keep consistently reading the Word of God.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV
In Romans 12:2, (the scripture above) we gain a clear picture of how to handle our thoughts, when we detoxify our bodies, we get rid of dirty things and consume things that will nourish the body. Often when we get sick, we avoid harmful foods like chocolate, and we choose to eat something that harms the body. It is the same with our mind; we need to nourish it with the Word of God daily.
4. Get a Daily Dose of God
This is another key; we often think we can live two or three days on a verse that we have received from Sunday’s message. But remember when God sent manna to the Israelites in Exodus? God specifically told them to pick up only as much as they needed for that day and no more. When some decided to hoard more for later, the manna became infested with worms and was no longer acceptable to eat ( Exodus 16:17-20). In the Lord’s Prayer, it says explicitly “Give us this day our daily bread.” There is a reason for this. Sometimes we are not sure if what we are thinking is right or wrong. Don't be afraid to question. The Bible tells us to use discernment.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 ESV
God even equips us in this area. We can test the spirits by seeing them in the light of the scriptures, but there are times we still do not understand what is right and good according to God.
5. Walk in the Spirit
Once we have had our mind right, we are ready to walk in the ways of our Lord. Walking is such a great illustration of the Believers life, because it includes our mind, our will and our active response. Before we place our foot on a path, our brain must signal our legs to move. Something must occur in our mind; we must also choose the path we take.
The next question is: How do we walk in a way that pleases God? First, John illustrates our Believers journey as one in which we walk in the light. If we walk in the light, which is God, then not only will we have fellowship with others, but the blood of Jesus purifies of all sin.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7 ESV
In Romans 8:9 it says, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
Further, in the same passage, Paul continues “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 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. For all who the Spirit of God leads are sons of God.” Romans 8:12-14 ESV
As these verses and others attest we have the choice to walk and live in God’s way, and we must not forget we also have help from God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to overcome the sin that wants to overwhelm us.
Let us take heart, my brothers and sisters in Christ. We all sin. We will see again. But God forgives. God is a God of restoration, giving us several chances. When you are troubled in your sin, rest in him. God cares for us, and He is ready and willing to help us at every turn.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Written by Ama Ghana @seekyefirstjesus
Ama Ghana is a Servant of God and the Founder of Seek Ye First Christian blog.
She blogs here
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What do you believe?
#Christianity is the life of #God (the Creator) in human beings (that's us). What this means, practically, is that each day, you take steps to get to know this God, through His Word, the Bible (https://classic.biblegateway.com), by building a relationship with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ.
In the same way, as soon as your baby is born, in fact from the moment you "know" that you are pregnant, you spend time getting to know the baby, letting them know that each day
I ask you, then, would you like to be in a relationship with #God, the God of the Bible, the God that made this beautiful earth, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
The God that gave Jesus Christ to us:
This the WHAT
John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because that person failed to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him."**
And we (using #faith, a bit like #electricity, we know it's there because the lights come on) accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and get to know Him each day, as we would our own dear friends, loved ones, a spouse.
This is the WHY
"It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while, God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit."**
In exchange for following Jesus, you will receive peace, freedom, joy (that's laughter whilst your awake, peace whilst you sleep), it will be hard, your friends may disown you because you've become "one of us" but guess what even if you have a tough day, you will never be alone again.
Read this prayer along with me:
This is your YES
"Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for me and forgiving me of my sins so I can have a personal relationship with You. I am sincerely sorry for the mistakes I've made, and I know I need You to help me live right.
Your Word says in Romans 10:9, "If you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognising His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
I believe You are the Son of God, and I confess You as my Saviour and Lord. Take me just as I am, and work in my heart, making me the person You want me to be. I want to live for You, Jesus, and I am so grateful to You for giving me a fresh start in my new life with You today. I love you, Jesus!"**
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*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
**Meyer, J., 2018. The Everyday Life Bible. 1st ed. New York: Faith Words.*