Your Struggle With Sin: When Victory Seems Lost
Do you struggle with sin? If you answered “yes”, this post is for you. Take comfort, you are in good company. Because we all struggle with sin.
There is nothing that will take you out of the game like sin. And there is nothing that will cast you down for the count like sin. It’s one thing to be oppressed unjustly by the enemy. It’s quite another when we cooperate with him. At that point we become active, willing, consenting participants — which means we are vulnerable to the enemy and the judgment of God, save for the grace and mercy of Christ.
We all struggle with sin. If anyone tells you they don’t — they are either short-sighted or lying (see 1 John 1:5-10). The scriptures make it very plain that apart from Jesus Christ, we’d all be destined for hell. It matters not how good you are; how civil you are; or how well-intentioned. We all have sin in our lives. And because of that sin, we need Christ’s redemption. Without it we die.
Sin comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s not always what is ugly, painful, or obscure. It can be comforting, soothing, feel good, look good, and come very slyly. Regardless of how it’s packaged, sin is always deceptive. It will always harden our hearts. It will always bring death. And if we don’t repent, God will have to judge us for that sin.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” (1 John 1:5-10, KJV).
If you are struggling with sin, one of the most comforting things you need to know is this: you are not alone. This is truly a human condition. It’s one that every single solitary person struggles with. And there is promised victory. I encourage you to read this post. I truly believe you will be comforted, encouraged, and even strengthened to make some strategic decisions that will liberate you in Christ.
Our Sin Response
The sin response comes naturally for us. It is our human default setting.
Again, there are many types of sin. But the personal sins we often struggle with, we must realize, are there for a reason. Something God taught me long ago is this:
Sin is often an illegitimate attempt to meet a very valid legitimate need.
I’ve gone through my own seasons of struggling with sin just like anyone else. I’m not any different than you. In fact, I felt like the first decade of my relationship with Christ was just one battle after another. By the time I came to Jesus Christ at the age of nineteen I was so desperate for help, and so wounded and damaged that I had a lot of baggage. Christ spent an intense amount of time healing, delivering, and teaching me truths. One of those truths He spoke to me is one I need to share with you:
The enemy creates a void — so he can fill it.
Don’t ever forget this one. I will never forget the day the LORD spoke this to me, revealing a clear strategy the enemy employs against those who are unsuspecting. And wow, did this apply to me! I had a lot of “voids” in my life, and the sin-response was nothing more than an attempt to fill them. Little did I know that I had played right into the enemy’s hand.
What void do you have in your life? How are you filling it? Is the sin you’re struggling with something that brings you comfort and solace? Does it take the edge off? Is it an escape from a very painful reality? Is it a self-soothing mechanism that you’ve learned and become reliant upon?
God wants to set you free. Only He can fill the voids in your life. And when He does, your cup will run over. He is the God of abundance. And not only will He fill you, but He will heal you, cleanse you, and set you completely free. You only need to let Him.
Christ’s Response to Our Sin
It may surprise you that Christ’s response to our sin is not one we would expect. In my bible study, Effectual Repentance: Where the Guilt Trip Ends and Freedom Begins, I talk about the “passionate compassion” of Jesus Christ for sinners. This is one of the most tender areas in the Lord’s heart you could ever come to know.
Jesus Christ loves sinners.
He died for us while we were yet sinners (see Romans 5:8). He didn’t wait for us to repent. He came to our rescue seeking us out. He is not afraid to enter into that place with you. He is not afraid to associate with you; to touch you and meet you in your sin where you are hurting. He’s very well-acquainted with sin because He paid the ransom for it and became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He carried your sin intimately — in His very body and soul (see Isaiah 53). His body and soul became the offering for our sin.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,” (Isaiah 53:4-7 and 10-12, KJV).
When I read the stories in the Gospels, Jesus Christ does not ever shun sinners. He embraces them. He seeks them out. He eats with them. He drinks with them. He talks with them. He loves them — and even redeems them. The woman caught in adultery is one of the most beloved examples of any (see John 8:1-11). Talk about a scene!!! Can you even imagine what she must have felt, thought, and expected from the only One worthy to cast a stone at her? But what does He say? He asks her, “Where are your accusers?” And when she tells Him they have all left, He then says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
And that was the end of it. Literally. Case closed. He raised her up and she walked away free.
Can it really be that simple? The answer is yes. It can.
Now, for those of you who may not know, this woman had nothing but death coming for her. According to the Law she should have been stoned. She had been caught in the very act itself! It was witnessed! The lesson Christ teaches in this story is so beautiful. None of us, regardless of our sin for which we’re guilty, can cast stones at another.
I don’t think there is anything that moves Christ to compassion like a sinner. And as ugly and gross as our sin may be, here is why:
HE DOES NOT JUST SEE OUR SIN. HE SEES WHY WE DO IT.
He understands the deep inner void we are attempting to meet;
the need we are so desperately trying to satisfy;
the pain we are trying to soothe.
AND IT MOVES HIM TO COMPASSION FOR US.
Knowing why we do what we do is often the missing link for us in overcoming our sin. Once we can identify the root issues, we can begin to effectively address them. We may be very aware of what we’re doing. But more often than not, we’re troubled at what’s really operating behind it and motivating that pattern or habit. The depths of our souls are not that easy to untangle when they are caught in the web of sin. Jesus Christ is able to untangle those complex webs for us, revealing truth and bringing light to otherwise obscure and dark areas. He did that for me, and He will do that for you. He does that for everyone and anyone who is willing to come to Him, or asks Him to come to them. He will meet you there. And no matter how long it takes, He will walk you through that process until you are free.
Jesus Christ is able to set you completely free from your sin. In fact, He is able to transform your weakest areas into your strongest. He is able to meet you right where you are in that ugly, shameful, lonely place. He will come to you. He is able to touch you, speak to you, and heal you. He is able to fill you, teach you, and cleanse you from everything even remotely associated with that sin that would bring you harm. He is able to raise you up, give you victory, and make you stronger and wiser than your enemies.
We all know what we see. Sin is often readily apparent. It’s very easy to recognize. What we don’t see are things we can’t know. We don’t see why we are doing what we’re doing. We don’t understand why this person is so tangled in this particular sinful pattern. We don’t often understand the deep inner workings of their hearts and lives that led them into that trap. And this is where we must be the hearts and hands of Christ to others, offering them mercy, grace, and love.
Are you down for the count? Are you feeling lost, alone, and ashamed of the sin in your life that you can’t seem to overcome? Please don’t despair. Cry out to the LORD. He is just waiting to answer.
You are the reason He came. And He has never left. He’s still here.
Cheers & Shalom,
For more on how to overcome sinful habits and patters, and spiritual strongholds, you can check out my bible study Effectual Repentance: Where the Guilt Trip Ends and Freedom Begins. This intensive study will reveal the heart of Christ and His power to set you free, and give you the tools and truth you need to walk in victory. God bless you!
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