We call it everything but what it is… SIN! There I said it, that great big three letter word that no one wants to talk about anymore! Sin is anything that contradicts God’s law!We as a people, especially Americans, have become comfortable with renaming sin as things like, “Problems”or “issues” or any number of other cute names that we use. Pastor Wilfredo De Jesus make a great point that “problem and issues” have no need for divine intervention, they can be taken care of by us, in our own ability, when in fact the only one that can cure sin issues in our life is God.
I am often asked, Pastor Mike, how do I overcome temptation in my life? How to I overcome the addiction that has control of me, How do I defeat SSA. There is only one way to overcome anything SIN in your life, it is through repentance and forgiveness of the Father.
When you are struggling to overcome sexual temptation, pornography, masturbation, SSA or any of the Sin’s that so easily entangle, what steps do you take to start the journey to find freedom? I bet I can guess… It usually has something to do with making a promise to “never do it again”, tying to fight off the temptation either by putting up some filtering software or maybe even confiding in a friend to “keep you accountable”. You go a few days, maybe a week or two and you do really good, then all the sudden you find yourself back where you started. WHY?
The why is the biggest and almost 100% of the time, the missing piece of the puzzle.
In all the good intentions of wanting to make a change you left out the components that are necessary. All of these items are required, even one of them left out will sabotage the whole process.
True repentance means that we are sorry for what we have done, and we have true regret and remorse. Too often we enjoy or delight in our sin, and if we do make some sort of attempt at repentance it is done out of regret of failure, not a regret of sinning against God.
We also leave out the most fundamental of Christian disciplines of Prayer and Bible Reading/Study.
You have probably heard preacher after preacher talk about praying and reading your Bible, so much so that you probably tune it out and it becomes like white noise when they even start to mention it. However, prayer is the single most powerful tool that a Christian has in their tool belt for defeating temptation.
The first question that I always ask a young man when he comes to my office or when I get an email from him asking about overcoming temptation or sexual sin in his life is, How is your prayer life? Inevitably the answer is “well… um… I try to pray but…”. When a soldier goes into battle, they don’t train “sort of… kinda…” they work hard, train hard and push until they have their craft mastered. Why should we do anything less? If you are struggling with sexual temptation, stop reading, get down on your knees now and start talking to God. Not just about your issue but about your life, use one of the prayer techniques life A.C.T.S. and begin to build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! You say, “but I am already a Christian”, Yes but you have not spent enough time building that relationship. It’s like asking a girl to marry you just after you met, sure you probably know her name and you think she is cute but there is no depth to your relationship. Our life with Christ is the same way, we cant expect to have all the knowledge that we need with just a prayer or a dunk in the water. Pray, pray now, pray often, talk to God, talk with God.
The second part of the foundational christian disciplines is Bible reading. The Bible gives us understanding on how to deal with situations that we come across in our daily lives. I am a firm believer that the Bible covers everything that you can ever imagine might come up in your life. Either through direct instruction or through concept and application. The Bible covers, relationships, marriage, divorce, friendships, dating, sex, temptation, manhood, and a lot more. Just because you haven’t found it, doesn’t mean that it is not there. Look around, ask a friend or a minister to help you find it. Become a student of God’s Word!
You tell me you are struggling with temptation, I can tell you that your walk with God is not where it needs to be! Repent from your wicked ways, become a man of prayer, and a student of the Word and sin won’t be able to so easily ensnare!