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Giving Up Sin

 

         Leap of Faith Ministries  “… Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12 NKJV) Most Christians have put away those obvious, outward sins that are easily seen; theft, murder, and adultery.

What we haven’t given up is usually hidden in our minds and hearts. It might be our attitude toward those who steal, kill, and commit adultery. Jesus wants to show us that the rest of our problem is in the invisible hidden thoughts of our hearts.

He says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:19 NKJV)

We can try to use the excuse “I’m only human and I have my weakness, but at least I’m not as bad as that fellow over there.” We can do that for a while, but there comes a day when God will bring our hidden weakness to our attention in a way we can’t ignore. Immoral thoughts and lustful dreams is something a lot of people probably struggle with. It makes them feel guilty and they ask God to forgive them and deliver them from temptation, but soon they’re right back where they started. It’s like a vicious cycle that a lot of people think they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

What a lot of folks don’t realize is that, the things that are most difficult for us to control is exactly what God wants to control for us. If we really wanted to give up immoral thoughts, God would take them away and give us Christ’s thoughts on the matter instead. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5 NKJV)

What if you wanted to keep a wrong thought for just a little while before giving it up? Then think about what if all your thoughts projected on a screen over your head for everyone to see? Would you be embarrassed? Then what if you started questioning yourself whether or not you were ready to give your thoughts to God after all? Soon your problem goes from a sin you can’t stop to a sin that you’re not even sure you want to stop. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14 NKJV) another translation of that verse is “Temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes.” (AMP)

We as Christians need to come to face the fact we enjoy those hidden thoughts. Then we should come to the Lord and be able to say “Lord, I thank You for all these thoughts that have taught me the truth about myself.” “Forgive me, Lord, and take my mind. I surrender it to you and if you want to project my thoughts on a screen that’s all right with me. Only let me have the mind of Christ.”

Is there something you have tried to give up, but can’t. It may be something visible like drinking or smoking or less obvious like too much TV, reading the wrong books, or listening to the wrong type of music. Whatever the problem is, it always originates in our thoughts. Even medical authorities have come to agree with Jesus on that point. They can forcibly remove alcohol, tobacco, or extra calories from a person, but as long as the “physiological addiction” remains, the person will return to his old habits at the first opportunity. “Physiological addiction” is just another term for something which our minds and hearts won’t let go.

Be honest with yourself and God. Do you secretly enjoy your weakness? Are you trying to give it up, but at the same time allowing yourself to think or daydream about it? Do you imagine the taste of a pecan or sweet potato pie or the calming effect of a cigarette? Do you really want to give it up? Test your sincerity. Can you say “God put my thoughts on a screen if you like, so my wife, children, neighbors, and friends can know what I think about?” When a wrong thought presents itself to test you, imagine it projected on that screen. Confess it to God and say, “I’ve surrendered that thought to You, I won’t think and dwell on it.”

Deliberately put your thoughts on what is true and good and right. “Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about it.” (Philippians 4:8) When God sees your whole hearted willingness to let go of your favorite sins, He will strengthen your faith to carry it through.

If at the screen test we decide not to give up our secret thoughts, we can no longer believe that our problem is sin won’t let us go. We know we are the ones who won’t let go of the sin. With the truth revealed, our refusal to surrender becomes a more serious thing. “… you are saving up terrible punishment for yourself because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin…” (Romans 2:5)

If God shouts to you through pain and suffering be grateful for it. David was. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71 NKJV) God afflicts us because He loves us. The writer of Hebrews says, “… My son, don’t be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don’t be discouraged when He tells you how wrong you are. For when He punishes you, it proves that He loves you. When He whips you it proves you are really His child.” (Hebrews 12:5,6)

If God allows pain or difficult circumstances to come into your life to bring you closer to Him. Instead of murmuring and complaining like Israel in the wilderness, thank Him and praise Him for the things that hurt enough to get and keep our attention. Our pain or trials demonstrates God’s love for us. He wants us to be set free from every little sin that wraps itself around our feet, threatening to trip us up and keep us from oneness with our Heavenly Father.

Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths

 

Excerpt from Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths written by Richard “Reason” Garrett

Copyright © 2011 Liberated Publishing Inc

www.liberatedpublishing.com


About Richard Garrett

    Richard Garrett

    Richard Garrett also known as Reason is Founder & Executive Director of the LEAP Organization which provides Youth Development services. He is also a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty.

    His hobbies consist of playing basketball in addition to building websites, writing, and publishing other authors book under his company Liberated Publishing Inc.

    He graduated from Austin Peay State University with a Bachelors in Public Management.

    For more information on LEAP visit www.leaporg.net. To contact Reason directly email reason@leaporg.net or call 931-378-0500

    Web Site: http://leaporg.net/
    Email: reason@leaporg.net

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