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Battling Sin

October 29, 2022

fightDo temptations leave you feeling battered and bruised? You’re not alone. It is a fight we all strive to conquer yet so very many times we find ourselves bloodied on the canvas of life looking up and wondering what happened. How did we end up here, yet again? We get knocked down and then struggle to get back up. Some just quit at this point — down for the count. Temptations happen to all of us and how we respond is crucial to our daily survival and testamony of God’s grace and mercy.

There are so many aspects to address in regards to temptation, the ramifications, expectations, and response to them I fear this will either be too long for one post and could constitute multiple. But for today, let’s just cover some territory that is vital for your walk.

To be clear, temptations are not sin. They are the allure used by satan to draw us away from God. Think of them as a fancy fishing lure cast before a trout. It’s a pulling of our hearts to do what we want rather than what God wants. Sometimes its fear that causes us to lack faith or trust in the Lord to sustain us and carry us through. Sometimes it’s the appeal to our flesh to do something against God’s moral code which is imprinted on our soul.  Sin occurs when we yield to the temptation and do what is against God’s will. Most lose the fight more than we care to admit, but that does not mean we’re to give up. And our resolve doesn’t just impact ourselves, but those around us because it jeopardizes our ability to clearly hear the voice of the Lord. Sin inhibits our relationship to a holy God.

Jesus conquered the enemy and if you place your hope and trust in Him you’re already on the winning side. His death on the cross was the victory and when Jesus said, “It is finished,” it was. Surrendering to Him was your redemption — He literally bought you from the ruler of this age and imputing His righteousness to you. In doing so, He broke sin’s dominion over you. Sin is not, nor should ever be your master again. You, in Christ, because of everything He did, are redeemed. You didn’t deserve it. His grace is amazing and His mercies are new every morning.

Ephesians 6:10-11
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (NLT)

This passage makes it evident the strength and protection is not in your ability or power, but God’s. Many born again believers try to stand toe-to-toe against our enemy, God’s enemy, thinking we can defeat him in our own strength or abilities. How wrong! How utterly and preposterously wrong of us to think somehow we are the reason or the cause of overcoming the enemy. As if we have some new super power. That ‘super power’ is not us, but is the Word. The One who spoke the world into order. We can only defeat the devil and his minions in our lives when we stand in and hide ourselves in Christ.

So many Christians are scarred and bruised, banged up and wounded, all the while battling temptations naked! There are many times I hear the voice of the Lord reminding me He will fight my battles when I am clothed in Jesus. It’s HIM that we are putting on when we put on the whole armor of God. Resting in His righteousness (there is none in us apart from Him). Walking in His truth for He is the way, the truth, and the life. Carrying the shield of faith when we trust Him to quench the fiery darts (temptations and accusations). Our minds and thoughts need to be guarded in His salvation, freely given, but at a great price to Him. Our feet walking in peace whereever He leads us to share and spread the good news (the gospel)! And equipped by studying God’s word so when the enemy tries to lure us by saying, “Did God say …” we KNOW His word and stand firmly on His promises of Him going before us and being our rear guard; He will shield us from the wicked one when we make Him our refuge and strongtower.

Next time you fall, the next time you fail, repent and put on His armor — put on Jesus. When the enemy comes to tempt you, let him see Jesus.

Never, never, never let God’s grace cause you to think you can get away with sin. Failures and falls will happen. You will sin, but do not let it be your practice. Instead let that sin or sins be vile to you. Ask the Lord to let you see your sin the way He sees your sin — as a heartbreak to the One who redeemed you from it with His blood.

Repent of your sin, trust God’s faithfulness, put on His armor, and march forward. He’s got you.

— Pastor Rick

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