POWER TO OVERCOME SIN.........And the temptation to sin



We live in a world that is loaded with various attractions and distracting events. Sin surrounds us on every side, but the Lord has promised us grace to overcome.  So, our approach to overcoming sin essentially deals with our ability to enforce what God has already obtained for us.

Remember that, when we talk about dealing with sin, we are invariably dealing with the devil, that wise and ancient serpent. So, there is no small sin and no small temptation.  Every temptation is well planned by the devil and executed when a person is at his weakest point.

There may be different definitions of sin, Open sin, Secret sins, the sin of the heart, abomination etc.  The author of them all is the devil and he uses human beings to execute his evil works since he cannot come to you in person, he is a spirit. 

Our greatest need is to worship and serve the Lord, but no one can serve God acceptably with sin.  Sin separates us from God (Romans 3:23), and until the sin question is settled, there can be no faithful service unto the Lord.

Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life!  Receiving Him is the first and the most important step to overcoming sin.  Yet, we have seen brethren who are saved, still living like unbelievers.   We have seen sons defrauding their fathers, stealing Pension and final entitlement money and disappearing to spend the money abroad.  Turning away from the evil ways unto good, and living the righteous life takes time, so we should be patient with ourselves and with other people.

The first lesson is that the devil can use anybody to tempt you, mostly, people around you and close to you.  The enemy is not the person being used, it is the devil.  This is why every believer must develop a sound understanding of how the devil operates and be determined to resist temptation, no matter the quarters it is coming from. 

How do we resist the devil, through prayer and works of faith.  This is why we all need the Holy Spirit to be active in our lives. The bible says the Holy Spirit will show us things to come. His is our helper and Teachers.  He will guide and direct us into all truth.

Temptation and how it starts

The bible says every sin starts from the heart.  It doesn't just come.  Ideas and evil thoughts are meditated in the heart before they are acted upon.  Behind every sin is a temptation, and when a person cannot resist temptation, such a person falls into sin.

Temptation comes from Satan, that ancient serpent, who sees into the spirit realm to know what a person has been lusting about and to tempt him in that thing.  If a person has pure heart, a heart that is not greedy for wealth or anything, a heart that is thinking good all the time, a heart that fears the Lord, the devil will hardly tempt such a person, because there is no opening in the heart.

But if a person is lusting after what is not his/her own, or what he/she cannot afford, the person is opening himself up for the temptation of the devil. If a person is listing after an N10million car, which he cannot afford for so long.  When the devil discovers that he is obsessed by the desire, he will send one of his agents to tempt the person with a stolen car, at a very low price of say N1million, which the person will fall for.  He will not wonder why the car is offered at such a ridiculous price until the Police arrest him for buying a stolen car.

I believe that was what happened in the Garden of Eden, where the woman was tempted by Satan to disobey the instructions of the Almighty God.  Eve must have been lusting after the fruit at the centre of the garden, which God told them not to touch or eat.  

She may have wondered why God told them not to eat that particular fruit, in the midst of all the garden and started lusting after it.  Then the devil saw her heart and came to tempt her.  Notice that she did not consider the dangers of disobeying God, neither did she consult with her husband before she touched the fruit and ate it.  The reason is simple, she had been lusting after the fruit in her heart - Gen. 2:16-17

Lust - Root of Sin

Lust is a sin of the heart. Lust has been with mankind throughout history. Lust leads to sin. Sin breaks our relationship with God (Romans 1:24-32). We become numb to lust's impact, so we think we can lust even more.  That is the very nature of lust: an unquenchable thirst for more and more.  More money, fame, power, clothing, wait for this more love. Have you imagined why Energy drinks are selling like wildfire, it is lust!.  But in the midst of all these, unless our desires are turned over to the Lord, we will continue to struggle with temptations.

Sin surrounds us, but if we have a pure heart, we may not be tempted by any of the things we see around us, as our mind is far from them.  On a daily basis, we see lustful images on TV, Newspapers and on the street, but if we have the Spirit of God living inside of us, victory is sure.  There is a way the Holy Spirit makes us focus on the Word of God, soul-winning and prayer that the various worldly distractions mean nothing to us.

In order to overcome temptation and sin, we should pay greater attention to our heart, what we read, see and hear.  Our heart should be delivered of every worldliness, pride, greed and then walk in Spirit.  The Bible makes it clear how we overcome the flesh. It is by walking in the Spirit.  

Walking in the Spirit, putting on Christ, walking in the new man, walking in the light, are all saying the same thing, which means to live by faith in the Word of God.  Allowing the Word of God to be our standard in all things.  We have to consult the word of God and what it says on any issue and make the counsel of God the final say on the matter.

Walking in Spirit

Walking in the Spirit or walking in the newness of life is to realize who you are in Christ and walk daily in the consciousness that you are a chosen son of God, out to do His will and please the Lord.  Others may not have a guide, but we have a guide, the Word of God and His Spirit living inside of us. Its a life, in which we discover God's purpose for our lives and pursue it.  We discover His will and purpose in what we are doing and pursue it in a pleasing manner.

No man can walk in the Spirit, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so it is important that we know how to make the Holy Ghost our friends and Boss.  He is a person, the Holy Spirit is holy.  He will not live in a filthy life, nor in a disobedient vessel.  He will not live in darkness, a life where the Word of God is not studied and practised, a life that does not pray daily or regularly to the Fathe

Walking in faith is a life of faith, without fear and fully surrendered to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  When we walk in Spirit, we are not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2).  We seek to know the mind of Christ in a lot of things, and think like Him, for the Bible says we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and we have been made one with Him (John 17:22).

Walking in the spirit is to submit your life to the Holy Spirit. "If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires" (Gal. 5:16). Remember, you can't fight lust on your own, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you.  Renew your mind. Focus on God's Word and allow Him to remove your lustful thoughts and actions (Rom. 12:2). put away everything that appeals to the flesh and focus on God (Eph. 4:17-24; 2 Cor. 10:5).

Walking in the Spirit destroys the flesh and fleshly desires, which are from the world around us. We should learn to remove our mind and heart from many beautiful things of this world, which distracts us or make us lose focus on the things of God.  The scriptures say: "Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our selfish desires to have everything that attracts our fancy is of this world, not from God.

The opposite is walking in the flesh, being carnally minded, walking in the old man, walking in darkness. This is the darkness, the Lord delivered us from, to live a new and better life in Christ.  The bible says that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:17), and by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the flesh. –Rom. 8:13

How to Grow in Grace
The power to overcome sin is the grace of God offered to us by the Holy Ghost.  Though it is help from above, grace can be cultivated, and should, in fact, be cultivated.  A Born again believer should know how to grow in grace.

This grace is found when we abide in Christ as our strength.  When we do that, our walk with God will be acceptable and fruitful.  In John15:4-5, the Lord explained why we should abide firmly in Him.  Another requirement for spiritual growth and exploit is abiding in the place of prayer, asking for mercy and protection, we will discover we are under the covering of the Lord, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty God.

We also need to keep our body under check.  The reason is that, if we ignore the flesh and all its pride, fleshly desires, the person becomes worldly, and within a short period the desire for the things of the spirit will no longer be there in the heart, instead, it will be the desire for pleasure, acknowledgement and respect.  Such a person becomes a friend of the world and an enemy of God.

To grow in the spirit and in grace, we must openly and secretly abhor sin.  We should follow the example of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whom the bible described in Hebrew 1:9 saying:  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.   Jesus loved righteousness - which means that He loved to do righteousness.  He does the works of righteousness, not because God requires it from us, but because He loved righteousness.  This is how we should love righteousness and hate iniquity.

To grow in grace, a Believer should be ready and prepared to flee at the appearance of any evil.  When applied to real life, the person should be ready to lose certain things and many friends.  It means that whatever you are pursuing and the devil blocks your way with the temptation to sin, flee that scene.  

In addition, the following steps will be helpful for spiritual growth:
1. Make God and His work, your priority
2. Meditate on His Word and pray daily
3. Recognize you do not have any alternative to spiritual progress, and the arm of flesh will fail.
4. Surrender your life to the Holy Ghost
5. Fast as often as you can and pray in tongues regularly.
6. Flee from every appearance of evil
7. Surround yourself with heaven minded friends and people.

Steps to overcoming sin

To overcome sin or temptation of any kind will take hard work, grace and resistance.  The grace will come through prayer, but you will have to be determined to stop the practise and be ready to resist the promptings to do such evil, no matter the time and place.  You will have to speak to your heart to reject the sin, not to accommodate any contrary ideas and suggestion that stimulate sinful activity.

The following steps will give you victory over sin:
1. Desire to be free from the reproach
2. Hate iniquity and everything God hates
3. Love righteousness and do it
4. Identify the temptations and flee
5. Determine to resist the sin till the end
6. Declare your freedom and walk in it.

Desire to overcome Sin.  This is the first important step.  When you hate the sin you seldom fall into, you will be able to cry to the Lord for help.  You will also be able to study the problem or issues that lead to that sin, either as temptation or your action.  Some people misbehave when they are drunk.  So, the ability to reject drinking of anything alcohol may be the strongest attack on the cause of his sinful behaviour.  Changing old habits and ways of doing things, of thinking and speaking may not be easy, as it requires constant alertness, effort and resistance.  So, the first step is to determine that we really want to change those, then plan our spiritual and physical response. 

Hate Iniquity.  To hate iniquity is to hate anything God has rejected and spoken against, no matter how beautiful or pleasing it may be.  If God says it is wrong to touch an apple, no matter how fine or beautiful such an apple may look, you must hate it.  Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and something to be desired. These are references of appeal to the eyes and the flesh.  It is dangerous to love what God has condemned, no matter how appealing it may seem.  If God has spoken against anything, hate that thing.

Love righteousness. God loves righteousness, and if that is true, we should love righteousness too.  To love righteousness is to do the work of righteousness, not because God demands it, but also because it is the right thing to do.  When you love righteousness, you will hate anything contrary to righteousness, and the bible says that all unrighteousness is sin.  What is righteousness?  It is "blameless conduct, right actions and attitudes, truth, faith, obedience and justice." Righteousness is the new life in Christ.

Identify temptations and flee.  Resist and flee. Perhaps the best advice all is simply this: Run! Don't allow lust to linger in your mind. Get far away from situations and influences that threaten to trap you (Prov. 5:8; James 4:7-8). This is not easy for any person who is still in the world, but once you make up your mind about any behaviour and cry to God for help, you are likely to get more determined to stop the reproach it causes you.  

See Sin as a reproach. Whenever you see sin as a reproach, your attitude towards it changes until God gives you the grace to completely overcome it.  Every effort to overcome sin is an effort to overcome the devil, so you must use the blood of Jesus in your battle.  You must also depend on the help of the Holy Ghost, and not in your ability or determination alone. Pray always, asking for God's help.   We find such a prayer in Jeremiah 10:23-24: which says ... O LORD, correct me, but with justice; Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.”

Declare your freedom.  A Christian that will overcome sin must first overcome sin by faith and in spirit.  You have to use your mouth to declare what you want to see, even before they manifest in the open.  For the way of faith is to believe, prophesy and have it.

Thank you for leaving your comment and experience for all of us to learn together.


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