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Resisting Sin

September 6, 2011

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

I don’t have much of a desire to resist temptation.  Or sin, for that matter.  I have a passive hope.  I think about resisting, but I don’t actually do it.  My struggle against sin isn’t even strong enough to get me to drive past a McDonald’s, let alone be obedient unto shedding my own blood!  I don’t want to be without pleasure.  I don’t want to go unsatisfied, regardless of the nature of my craving.  My “hostility” comes from myself, from my own body.

Has my mind really been renewed, then?  I know the truth of Romans 12:2, but I really don’t act like I do.  Sometimes I wonder if the transformation is real.  Have I really surrendered my life to Christ?  If so, shouldn’t his power be so obvious that the Romans 12 transformation is undeniable?  Of course, it’s silly to doubt my salvation.  I know I’ve surrendered my life to Christ.  My trouble is that I struggle to acknowledge the power I have over sin, through Christ, who has already conquered it.

So how in the world do I accept and reflect this power?  I think there are 3 steps:

1. Declare it.
I must verbally declare that I have the power to resist sin. Simply reciting statements of truth seems to drive that truth deeper into my heart. And it has to be out loud. This gives the statement a bit more authority, as if I’m commanding myself to believe it.

2. Pray for it.
I’m not in a vacuum here.  God hears my prayers, and promises to give me whatever I ask, in accordance with his will (1 John 5:14-15).  And resisting sin is certainly part of his will!  So, I must pray for the power to do so.

3. Act on it.
Finally, I must act, in faith, with the confidence that God has given me his power.  It won’t be easy.  It takes work.  But the power is there.  I must do what I can do, then let God do what only he can do.  The power to resist is with me, but I must accept and act in accordance with it.

So, what’s stopping me from resisting?  I’m not acting with the power of Christ.  In fact, I’m not sure I actually believe I have that power.  I pray for it, but I don’t rely on it in the midst of temptation.  So, it’s time I start believing (cue Journey).

What step do you struggle with the most?  What action can you take this week to overcome the struggle?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 9:31 pm

    I love your posts, I can’t wait to hear your posts on “this is how I overcame _________.”

  2. Boal permalink
    September 10, 2011 6:27 pm

    Your blog suddenly looks similar to another one I read.

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