How to Win the Battle Over Sin

We must fight so as to win.

Luke 14:31-32
“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand. Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.”

Preparing For Battle
No one enters a battle expecting to lose.
Counting the cost of engagement is very important (Luke 14:31-32).
In order to battle sin, we need several things.

The Willingness To Fight
Often, most people are not interested in conflict and battle.
They just want to get along.
Yet this turns them into pacifists and those unwilling to fight and even defend what they hold dear to themselves.
They will not even defend God or Jesus.
We must fight diligently the tendency towards self-deception.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds”.(Jeremiah 17:9-10;

The Wisdom To Fight
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
We need wisdom in order to be faithful and fruitful to our God.
We are to pray for wisdom in the midst of persecution. (James 1:5)
Wisdom will help win the battle.
Wisdom will give us insight into the attitudes and actions of others.
Jesus told His disciples that those who would kill them were doing so for a just and righteous cause (in their own minds).
(John 16:1-3)
More importantly wisdom will give us insight into ourselves.(2 Corinthians 13:5)

Many people fail to use wisdom.
Many people become trapped in a repeating pattern of life.
How common it is to see people make the same mistake over and over again!
Not only do they not learn from their mistakes, they refuse to learn from the mistakes of others.
While our weaknesses are real, through wisdom and diligence we can avoid that repetition that is common to many. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

How to Fight Temptation
Be willing to fight it!
Paul described the battle as a brutal one. He compares it to sporting competition
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Too many are surrendering because of the pressure of relationships.
Those that proclaim themselves as “open-minded” and eschew “traditionalism” often are slaves to the approval of others.

To what extent should we go to win?
Jesus made it clear the extent of the fight.
“And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
(Matthew 5:29)

Whatever it takes
Realize that this is an issue of the heart.
Jesus said it is not what goes into the man that defiles him but what comes out from the heart (Matthew 15:18-19).
Make God’s word a part of you.
(Psalm 119:11, 36-40)

A change in ourselves is necessary.
Changes here will take time.
Decisive action must be taken however.
Learn as much as you can from God’s word.
Find trustworthy friends who will rebuke you. (Proverbs 27:6)
Go to God in prayer and be honest about your temptation. Even Jesus had concerns (Matthew 26:41).
“God delights in our temptations and yet hates them. He delights in them when they drive us to prayer; he hates them when they drive us to despair.”
Have someone you can talk to. Many counselors bring victory. (Proverbs 15:22, 24:6)

Be willing to learn and be taught.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).
Make quick action to be restored after your sin.
(2 Corinthians 6:1-2)
Make any corrections that are needed (Matthew 5:23-24).
Learn from your sin. (Example: Peter)
Often the answers are not understood.
Wisdom will take time.

Some Common Sins We Must Fight
Yes we all sin, but we do not have the same sins.
Everyone is different in various ways.
Yet when it comes down to it, sin is sin.
We all still have to fight some of the same sins.
Let us notice a few.

Buried Anger.
It keeps us away from the fellowship of God (1 John 3:15).
It is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20).
Anger makes us a slave.
Anger is very deceptive even to the one harboring it (Proverbs 26:24-26).
Buried anger will destroy you (eat you up).

Allowing our Jobs to Ruin Us.
Why do we have a job?
To provide for ourselves and be able to provide for others without stealing (Ephesians 4:28).
Are we willing to be honest about God given limitations?
Some allow their work to keep them away from God (Hebrews 11:24-26).

Lack of self-control.
Felix got scared when Paul spoke of self-control
(Acts 24:25).
Without self control, good things can become evil.
One of the Christian virtues requires self-control
(2 Peter 1:6).
In fact, God wants all men to exercise self-control
(1 Timothy 2:15), especially those of the church.
In time men without self control will find a religion that allows them to indulge.
(2 Timothy 3:1-4) is a whole sermon of itself.

Stubbornness destroyed King Saul.
(1 Samuel 15:23)
A stubborn man must never be wrong. When he is there is little hope for change.
A stubborn man often is easily controlled by others even though he thinks he is in control.

A resistance of real change.
Repentance involves godly sorrow which leads to change.
(2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
Change represents the unknown and possible hurt.
Many are resistant to change of any sort.
It makes people uncomfortable to step out of their envelope.
With faith in God we will change for the better. (1 John 5:4)

Why put off things that pertain to salvation? (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).
The judgment day will not wait on us.
(2 Peter 3:10-11)

Lack of Judgment in Romance.
Who we marry may have eternal consequences. They must be qualified (Matthew 19:9)
If they are an unbeliever, it is a dangerous combination.
Statistics show that only about 5% of the unbelievers become Christians, and about 80% of believers will fall away because of their spouse.

Be Willing to Take Action Now.
Confession of a weakness is not enough (Revelation 2:5, 16).
In many cases a clean break is called for. Will you do it?
“It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those we intend to commit.”
The warning from (Hebrews 10:26) should cause us to pause and consider our actions.

Sin is common to all men. (Hebrews 12:1)
Sin must not however be the master of our lives and enslave us. (Romans 6:19-23)
Some resist becoming a Christian because they do not think they can overcome sin.
Yes you can! God said so.

By Carey Scott from an unknown source

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