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By Rev Charles Seet

Preached at / Published Life BPC Weekly, 2003-09-14

Text: Hebrews 12:1

Is there some habitual or besetting sin in your life that you have been struggling with? If there is, you can take comfortkthat you are not alone, for many godly saints have also shared the same struggle you have. For example, Abraham struggled with the besetting sin of telling half-truths when he was overtaken by fear. He did this on at least two occasions: first to the Egyptians and later on, to Abimelech, the king of the Philistines. Other besetting sins include gossiping, losing one's temper, and indulging one's fleshly lusts. 
The important thing that you need to remember at all times about your besetting sin is that you must never change your view of its sinfulness. There are times when a Christian keeps on falling into the same sin, and after some time he gets so used to it that he loses the sense of its seriousness in God's sight. He no longer feels guilty after committing it. He becomes tired of resisting it any longer, and begins to excuse it as his own personal weakness. Such sugar-coating of a sin is the easiest way to give the devil a grip in your life by which he can draw you further and further away from the Lord.

The feelings of guilt that come when you have sinned is actually good for you, because it acts like a warning bell, urging you to repent and put away the sin. But if you ignore this warning bell too many times, your conscience becomes dead. This is a dangerous state to be in. Your conscience plays a very important role in your life. A building that has its fire alarm system disabled will burn down and be completely destroyed! When a Christian has a dead conscience, his life will soon show it, and his testimony for the Lord will be ruined. He will backslide terribly and his prayers will have no power, because God's Word says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psalm 66:18).

Therefore, your attitude toward besetting sin must always remain the same as God's - You must hate it enough to keep on striving to get rid of it! Let your heart be challenged to do this by Hebrews 12:1 - "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" However, removing a besetting sin is easier said than done. Victory may either be immediate or gradual. The following are some steps that you can take to gain victory over the sins which easily beset you. 

1. Make no provision for the besetting sin. Romans 13:14 tells us to "put ye on the Lord esus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Examine the factors that precipitate the sin - is there a consistent pattern of circumstances that tend to lead you into it? If there is, then see if any of them can be removed or avoided. Stay away from any place or scene that triggers off the besetting sin. It is significant to note that we are to resist the devil (James 4:7), but we are to flee from youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22, cf. Genesis 39:12). Many do the very opposite, to their own detriment. Anyone who deliberately allows himself to linger in a tempting situation, thinking that he is strong enough to resist, is making provision for his own fall%2q

2. Cultivate a mind that is unfavourable for the besetting sin. Keep your mind saturated with spiritual things. Isaiah 26:3 - "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Romans 8:5,6 - "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." A mind that is always filled with thoughts of God and His kingdom will not be a conducive place for thoughts of the besetting sin to take root and lead you down the slippery path of sin.

3. Overcome the besetting sin through Christ. In order to have the discipline to implement the above steps, you need Christ's power in your life. Jesus Himself said, "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." The power of Christ who indwells believers is alone sufficient to lay aside besetting sins. This is why, after mentioning the need to lay aside sins which so easily beset us, the writer of Hebrews adds: "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) 

How can you avail yourself of this power? It becomes available to you as you walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Through prayer, ask the Lord to let the Holy Spirit influence and lead you. You may need to make this prayer again and again, whenever you become conscious that you have gone out of step with the Spirit. The ideal situation is to walk in the Spirit at all times.

Dear reader, if you are in Christ, God has graciously provided all that you need to deal with the sins that easily beset you, but it is your God-given responsibility to apply them constantly. 2 Peter 1:3 assures us that "according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue." May the Lord enable you to keep pressing on the upward way, laying aside every besetting sin in your life.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25