If you are reading this, you probably already know how harmful lust is to your heart, mind, and relationships. Worst of all, it separates us from God, whom Jeremiah described as the fountain of living water. That’s precisely why routinely yielding to temptation can be so devastating. If that describes you, you may wonder if you’ll ever be free and you may even be thinking about giving up.
The desire to give up is premised on two lies: 1) lust is too powerful; and 2) I am incapable of changing. The allure of lust may presently be strong and your willpower may presently be weak due to repeat compromise, but there’s a beautiful thing in neuroscience called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to change itself, a remarkable fact that modern science has vividly unveiled. And there’s something even more amazing than neuroplasticity called grace. The grace of God not only to forgive us when we err but to empower us to overcome temptation. As we grow in the knowledge of God, our ability to say “no” to evil and “yes” to good strengthens. As we choose wisely, lust loses its allure, our spiritual willpower increases, and our brain chemistry aligns with the truth.
Today, I’ve transcribed a short clip in which Mark Ballenger talks about how crucial it is to move forward, no matter how discouraged we feel. Failure may be inevitable, but how long it takes to recover from it depends on the individual–so fail fast. When we mess up, let’s repent and get back on the path we were on before we got derailed.
But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.Hebrews 10:38
For more, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.
Hey everyone, I’m Mark from applygodsword.com, a place where we apply the Bible to your life. In this episode, I’m going to talk about the most important thing to remember when you’re struggling with repetitive sin. I’ve written a lot about this topic of how to overcome temptation on my website at applygodsword.com. . .
In this video, I just want to talk about the most important thing that I believe you need to remember when you’re dealing with repetitive sin, and that is this: never ever give up. When you give up, that’s when you really really start getting in trouble and the sin is just going to take over and get even worse. You might start denying that you’re actually sinning because you’re heart’s going to become hard to God. The problems are endless when you give up, when you are struggling with repetitive sin.
Here’s the thing: I understand why you would want to give up. Because you’re in this terrible cycle of asking God to forgive you, but then doing the exact same thing over and over again that you’re asking God to forgive you of. Why won’t he just take the sexual temptation away. Why won’t he help me with this addiction. Why won’t this certain thing stop, you might be saying to yourself. And there are many answers to questions like that, and the Bible is full of advice on how to overcome these types of repetitive sin. Ultimately, it comes through embracing your new identity in Jesus Christ. Again, this is a topic I’ve talked a lot about, so I’ll leave some links in the description of this video.
But here’s the thing. If you give up, you will forever be stuck in that repetitive sin. Here’s what it says in Jeremiah 2:34-35, “On your clothes is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’”So when they start giving up, and they start saying, “I have not sinned,” that’s when the real problems happen.
Even more relevant to this topic of repetitive sin is 1 John 1:8-10: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives. So God commands us never give up. Never start denying your sin by ignoring it because you’ve just given up. Always confess. Every time you confess your sin, God forgives you, no matter how many times you’ve done that sin in the past. This is not an excuse to keep sinning because God will forgive you. It is the foundation of being finally set free. If you don’t believe that God will consistently forgive you every time you fail, you’ll never find the success that you’re ultimately looking for.
Lastly, it says this in Jeremiah 3:22: “Return, faithless people. I will cure you of backsliding. Yes, we will come to you, for you are the Lord our God.” God said I will cure you of backsliding, but you have to consistently come to him. So the most important thing if you’re dealing with repetitive sin is to never give up. Always repent. Repent quickly. Turn to Jesus no matter how many times you stumble and fall. . .