You know the pattern. You fall into some particular sin struggle, and it seems like that sin overtakes you. Nothing you do brings victory. Prayers seem fruitless. Temptation only grows stronger. Battle losses are common. This post looks at why we have these battles in the first place.
- We don’t recognize the reality of spiritual warfare. We face a real enemy who wants to keep us in bondage (Eph 6:12). He’s vicious. He’s tenacious. If we don’t recognize this reality, we’re destined for defeat.
- We love our sin. That’s hard to admit, but we must be real. We hang on to sin because we get something out of it. Whatever it is may be temporary, but it’s strong enough to draw us back again and again.
- No one’s taught us how to overcome sin. I’m amazed by how few churches give practical guidance for breaking sin patterns. Our people wrestle every day, but our teaching is often only general (e.g., “You must stop”). We need specific, intentional application of the Word to know how to overcome sin.
- We prefer hiddenness over confession. Confession is never easy. It’s embarrassing and painful at times. Sometimes it just seems easier to stay in the darkness than it is to confess our wrong to somebody else.
- We have no one to talk to. We’re designed to be relational, but Christians are often notorious “lone rangers.” We don’t have enough strong, deep relationships with folks we trust, so we talk with nobody about our sin.
- We assume we’re the only one dealing with this sin. Consumed by our hidden sin, we conclude that nobody else has struggled in the way we struggle – so nobody would understand. We battle, and lose, thinking our sin is unique.
- We pull away from believers. Sin isolates people. It pulls us away from relationships and accountability. Disconnected believers almost always delve more deeply into their sin.
- We convince ourselves that our sin “isn’t so bad.” That’s a dangerous step to take, but it’s easy to go there. Any time we weaken the gravity of our sin, we give ourselves permission to continue in it.
- We’ve lost hope of breaking the pattern. After a while, we come to believe that we’ll never find victory over this sin. When we give up on God, we turn from the one hope we have and return to the sin that cannot satisfy. The cycle thus continues.
Here’s the good news, though: we can win these battles! Read this post to learn how to break these patterns, and start on the right track.