by Molly Audiss
Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Do you have that “one thing” in your life that seems impossible to overcome? This can be any number of things, including: overeating, smoking, giving in to a hot temper, consistently being late, drinking, criticizing others, lying, spending money foolishly, stealing, immorality, gambling, being lazy, procrastinating, cursing, comparing yourself to others, neglecting your Bible or prayer, illegal drug use, not witnessing for Christ…the list goes on and on. Whatever sin you struggle with the most probably has you feeling defeated. Yes, ladies who are Christians, who love the Lord, and who want to do right still struggle with these issues. But there is hope- YOU CAN CHANGE!
Above all remember that Jesus Christ loves you just as you are. His love is not conditioned by your performance. He died for you while you were yet in sin. (Romans 5:8) He is interested in your life, and He wants you to be happy. God hates your sin, but He loves you. He has the power to help you overcome your sin.
1) Identify the problem.
Let’s look at your sin square in the face; it is just that- sin. It is not simply a bad habit, an addiction, or “who you are.” It is sin. It is not part of your DNA, and therefore, it does not define you. You are a child of God, and not merely a victim of circumstance. There may be many reasons why you turned to this particular sin and struggle with it more than any other. You must identify this problem as 1) sin and 2) your sin, or else you may spend a lifetime justifying it or blaming it on someone else. What you want is to overcome this besetting sin and live the victorious Christian life.
2) Seek the Lord’s help daily.
You are dealing with a sin issue. Jesus has conquered all sin on the cross, and He can help you with your sin. This is not a matter of turning over a new leaf. You can turn leaves yourself. Sin is more powerful than you are, and you need the help of the One Who has power over sin. Remember, this is not a matter of will power! Only Jesus can deliver you once and for all from your addiction. You are a human being, born in sin, and you will never be sinless while you live on earth. What we are discussing is help with a specific area of life in which you seem to fail continually. It is different for each person. Jesus wants to help you, but He also wants your fellowship. He wants to hear from you everyday. Do not give up on prayer. Can you say that you have prayed about your problem each day, without fail, for a year? He may want to see how serious you are about this issue. He may give you enough grace for that day alone, so that you will seek His face again the next day. He will give the victory!
God’s Word is a powerful tool. Put up Bible verses that speak of God’s power over sin. Put these in places that you will see them often- your bathroom mirror, your computer screen, your refrigerator door, the dashboard of your car. Claim these verses as your own. Memorize scripture and quote it throughout the day. Increase the amount of time you spend in the Bible each day.
3) Take action.
What can you do? Remove the temptation to sin as much as possible. For example, maybe smoking or criticizing is your problem. Refuse to hang around those who smoke or those who criticize others. What if this is a person who lives in your home, or a person with whom you work? Talk to that person and ask them to help you. If presented the right way, you might be amazed at how willing that person is to help you succeed. Nevertheless, it is ultimately up to you to remove yourself from temptation at every possible chance. Maybe you struggle with overeating, and vending machines at work are always calling your name. Try this for a month- do not take any cash with you to work, not in your purse, your pockets, your desk- no cash. Then you cannot use the vending machine. You have to get serious and develop a plan, even if it seems drastic. Show the Lord that you are serious by taking the offensive. Don’t let life just happen to you; take control of your actions.
4) Get support.
Finally, find a person or a group of people who understand your struggle, and will be an encouragement to you. Don’t try to go it alone. The Bible tells us in Romans 15 that the strong should help the weak. Get to a Christian who is strong in your area of weakness. Sometimes well-meaning people who have never struggled with a certain sin, may say, “Just stop doing that.” Well, to you it is a little harder than that, or you would have quit a long time ago! Find those who will listen to you, pray with you, and encourage you. Stay away from the doomsday, negative crowd. Our church, along with many churches across the country has an addiction program called Reformers Unanimous. This is a Christ-centered program with a very great success rate. Only seek help from others who believe and promote the Bible. You don’t need a “higher power” to help you; you need Christ. The sad thing is that people who struggle with drinking, drugs, smoking, or gambling usually realize that they have an addiction and need help. But, if your besetting sin is something like gossiping, criticizing, overeating, or laziness, often pride takes over, and you never get help. Sin is sin. Humble yourself enough to realize that you will never have the victory if you try to overcome your problem alone. Get to a godly counselor who will point you to Christ. Truly He is the beginning and end solution to every problem we face.