Monday, February 22, 2010

Indwelling Sin

It's really crazy to think how easy we, as followers of Christ, get so caught up with things of this world. Considering that most of the worldly things these days are sinful, it's almost a guarantee that we are going to commit some sort of sin throughout the day, in doing these sinful things, it only leads to seperation from God. Sad to think about, but true none the less. So how do we prevent this? What can we do to become better disciples of Jesus? It is definitely difficult, and it is going to be a life long struggle. How many of us are going to take this issue seriously?

One thing that has helped me continue to overcome this problem is understanding that I am a sinner. I was born a sinner, and I am only human. We will slip, we will fall, but the trick? Get up, dust yourself off, repent whole-hearted, and continue with your purpose. Yes, you have a purpose. God made you with a purpose, on purpose. By God's grace, we are saved. One of the most helpful things I have ever thought of, was to focus on eternity. What does that exactly mean? "Focus on eternity". Eternity starts right this very second. Right here, right now. When this time on earth is over, where do I want to spend the rest of this eternity? As humans, our brains cannot even fathom the thought of that time-span. Think about it.
Eternity. Forever. Endlessness. Infiniteness.
Hard to think about, right?

First things first. Study your bible. Read it, learn it, love it. It is so important to understand what God wants from you, and reading the bible is such an important step to overcoming sinful desires. Sinful desires that never seem to satisfy. His words speak to you, if you let them.

It is so vitally important to understand that you and I have been yielding to the flesh of Satan's way for our entire lives. We have become so very good at it. Here is the coolest thing about this, though; the more and more you strive to overcome and resist the pulls at work within you, you will start to notice that wrong patters of conduct become a second nature to you. So true. No lies here. I am starting to notice it more and more, ever day.
Please do not misunderstand me here. Overcoming sin will definitely not happen overnight, unfortunately it's not that easy. Like I have mentioned, it is a life-long struggle. A life-long struggle against well-established attitudes and a former way of living that a lot of Christians have now rejected and turned away from. Amen.

As natural born sinners, we try to walk God's path, but a lot of times start to wonder off and forget what the point of this whole "path" was. (Focus on eternity). In doing this, we only have a harder time finding our way back to the beginning, and starting all over. The more and more we start over, the harder it is experience all that God has through the path he was originally trying to lead us down.
Read this verse. John 8:34; "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin, is a slave to sin'."
When you sin, it overcomes you, taking over your life, and leaving you lost. We must overcome it.
One of the many, many wonderful things about God, is that he knows your heart. He knows your desires, and he knows the reasons you do the things you do. The more you want a sin-free life, the more God has the ability to change the views of your heart, hence the easier it will be to discontinue this life of sin. I know this, I have experienced it. I have noticed in my path, that if I trust him, and continue to grow in love with him, the less I want to sin. Do I still sin? Absolutely, but I don't let it bring me down; If I do, I lose my motivation. Never lose your motivation. Focus on eternity.

Faith. Such a strong powerful word. A word that plays a huge role in a sin-free life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that [the faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The faith of Christ in us is a gift. And salvation comes as a free gift, by grace—through faith! But Paul explains that even the faith must be a gift. Otherwise, it would be a “work” generated by human effort.

So I have said before, because I don't think I can stress it enough. This all takes time. More time than we would like. There will be frustration, anger, and fear; but remember God is there to help, to guide, and to love. His love is so fulfilling, so motivating. His love makes you want to continue, and make you want to please him. Pleasing him means doing what he wants, and following his ways. We are all "babes [babies] in Christ" (I Cor.3:1). He describes how they required "milk" instead of "meat" for food. The brand new Christian is much like an infant. In this analogy, he first learns to roll over, then crawl, before walking (in an unsteady, toddling fashion). Then finally he learns to run (spiritually).
Push yourself to grow and overcome. Grow in knowledge as well (II Pet. 3:18).

In his article “HOW TO PREVENT SIN,” Herbert W. Armstrong concluded with the following. Notice the important key he described. It will also help you:

“The way to put a thing out of the mind is to put an opposite thought in the mind. So often I have noticed parents of babies strive so hard to ‘shush’ up the baby when it is crying. There’s either something causing pain, which should be removed, or something is in the baby’s mind that is causing its crying or fretting. Just saying ‘shush!’ or commanding the baby to stop fussing doesn't usually get very good results. We have reared four children, and long ago I learned the trick of quieting the baby by getting its mind on something else. Instead of commanding it to stop crying, attract its attention with some new object—get it interested in playing with that object…and before you know it the child will forget all about its crying.

“Try using this same method on yourself. But instead of material or worldly things, a mature person should use self-discipline and set his mind on spiritual things. Open your Bible. Put the study of some spiritual subject in your mind. Next time you are tempted, try it. Pray over it. Ask God to help you. See how rapidly you begin to win the victory over temptation and sin, and how marvelous will be your spiritual and character growth.”

Christ taught His disciples to understand the pulls of human nature at work within them. Notice: “And He said, That which comes out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:20-22).

These same attitudes, pulls of the flesh and wrong patterns of conduct are also at work within you and me. They leave us fertile for temptation by Satan.

Therefore, many kinds of temptations will be thrown at you all through life. You must successfully resist them. They will often come when you least expect them. The devil will try to strike you where you are weakest—most vulnerable—least prepared. You must be on guard—ready! Do not assume that you are stronger or more prepared than you think.

So I researched things to help us prevent sin. In doing that, I found "Seven Steps to Permanent Change". I will admit, I have yet to try this, but I will. I challenge you to do the same.

Seven Steps to Permanent Change

(1) Honestly face the problem. Many people will not honestly face their problems. They hide their eyes from reality. Jeremiah 17:9 declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Most people willingly deceive themselves about their problems. Honestly face your problems. Look them right in the eye and see them for what they are.

(2) Do not get discouraged. It is very easy to get discouraged now that you have acknowledged your problems. It is easy to be disheartened. This is natural. Be ready for this feeling to possibly strike you, after you have honestly faced the weakness, sin or fault that you are now ready to tackle. Paul wrote of those who are “troubled on every side, yet not distressed…perplexed, but not in despair” (II Cor. 4:8-9). You may feel this way as you face your problems, but do not get discouraged. Move on to the next step.

(3) Set your will. Absolutely determine that you are going to defeat each particular problem and that each will not defeat you! Take a do-or-die approach to the battle that lies before you. It has been said that the hardest battle is the first battle. Set your will to address each sin or weakness successfully. Tell yourself that you are going to defeat it—that you are going to rip it from your character. But recognize that you cannot fight the battle on your own. You must move to step four.

(4) Form a partnership with God. If you set out to overcome on human strength alone, you will fail. That is assured. We have already touched on this. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Jesus said, “I can of My own self do nothing” (John 5:30). On another occasion, when speaking to His disciples and talking about those who have certain things to overcome, Christ also said, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Believe Christ’s words. If He could do nothing on His own, neither can you or I. Be sure that you have formed a partnership with God and that you are not working on your own.

(5) Start right where you are. Admit that the problem is whatever size that it is. Neither overstate nor understate it. If it is a BIG problem, admit it! This is part of honestly facing the problem. If you are trying to overcome any pull of the flesh or temptation that has existed for a long time—that has been part of you for many years—admit the size of the problem. It has been said, “The longest journey begins with a single step.” That is true for the Christian. No matter how long it takes, or where you are when you start, start wherever you find yourself. If you have wasted time in deciding to address the problem, admit it. Acknowledge where you are and “Redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16).

(6) Be willing to pay the price. The Bible describes some who “grow weary” and “faint in the day of adversity” (Prov. 24:10). Solomon wrote that “their strength is small.” Paul wrote, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9). Everything of value in life comes at a cost—a price. Sometimes this involves pain, suffering. Pay the price. Paul wrote that even Christ “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). None of us enjoy pain, but sometimes it is inescapable in the overcoming process. The Psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Your word” (Psa. 119:67). Four verses later, he added, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes” (vs. 71).

(7) Do not give up before you have succeeded. Paul talked of running in a race and finishing his course. He said that he “pressed toward the mark” (Phil. 3:13) on his way to the kingdom of God. Solomon wrote, “For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again” (Prov. 24:16). Do not give up. Do not ever give up! Wrestle, battle and struggle until you have completely overcome whatever obstacle, weakness, sin or problem you are facing!

So, there it is. Some help, and little guidance. If you want this, you can do this-in Christ alone.

If you enjoy rap, or music in general, you should listen to a song called "Indwelling Sin" by a Christian rapper called Lecrae. This guy is so incredible. He is truly a man of God, and this song is so easy to relate to. I'm going to post the lyrics, so you should open another window and go to and search it. Follow the song with the lyrics, it's pretty impacting.

Indwelling Sin- Lecrae

Aye look what's good fam it's me again The one you used to call your friend
I know you aint forgot me?

Oh yeah you always get me caught in sin

Here you go with that again. You act like we aint cool or sumthin.
Lets go smoke a Kool or sumthin. Talk and sip a brew or sumthin.

Naw man I aint trusting you Aint nothing but lust in you
Thanks be to God I obeyed the teaching I was entrusted to
cause when you pass by you just want ya boy to backslide
Have me feeling sick like I'm coming down off a crack high

Man that's a flat lie you act like I'm the bad guy
you know when me and you get together we have a grand time
lets take it back. All the way to like the 6th grade
last thing on your mind back in the day was trying to live saved
remember house parties, kissing in the dark?
man that was innocent fun come on...

NOW don't start
See dawg I live by the Spirit so I don't gratify
all them old sinful desires that never satsify

Aye come on KILL THAT! Look me in my face and tell me I'm a lie
You aint feeling chasing women, getting drunk, and getting high
stacking money, staying fly, living up the playas life
we was having fun now gone try to be religious guy

Aye Yo man first of all LOWER YOUR VOICE! Who you talkin' to?
Handcuffed in August '02 I got caught with you
Truck flipped over on 35 that was all from you
I'll mess around and lose my life man tryna walk in you
I'm standing on these stages and got these people believing me
what I look like trying ta gratify this disease in me

So Now I'm a disease? Man please. I got yo back dawg
I aint saying drop the Jesus and be a rap star
All Im saying is when it's you and me lets be real folk
We aint gotta be selling drugs and tryna kill folk
Maybe just a lil...

What? A lil this, a lil that
a lil BET late at night, that's like a lil crack
see you aint gone lie to me I see how you be tryna be
BET tonight becomes addiction to pornography
and that's in no way honoring the God who's ruling sovereignly

Man you know you miss them old days

Yeah you right possibly
But after that I sober up and think of Jesus holding up
his skin up on the cross for all them drunken nights I'm throwing up
every thought of blowin up is captured in his flowing blood
I start thinking Philippians 4:8 when you showing up

You know I aint gone quit right?

Yeah I know but I'm dead to you
and one day I'll be present with Jesus who died and bled from you
Colossians 1:15 thats the God that I trust in
the Father crushed Him In doing so he has crushed sin

1 comment:

  1. Hey love,
    So I was reading through this blog when Glenn pointed out something to me. He noticed that you had quoted Herbert W. Armstrong, who is also in Kingdom of the Cults. I checked it out myself and sure enough he is the leader of the "Church of the World" cult. I went on the website where I found this in his "Who was Herbert W. Armstrong?" tab:
    "Over the course of his 52-year ministry, God revealed from the Bible hundreds of true doctrines through him, which had been lost through the centuries; Mr. Armstrong said this many times himself."
    That right there gave me the creeps. I hope that you just found something to prove your point, which I agree with, and are not following his teachings. Just go check it out for yourself and you'll see what I mean. Love you and I'm so so proud of you:)