10. Struggling with a Sin and/or an Addiction
One comment I often receive from people, is that they are struggling with a recurring sin in their lives and they don’t know how to get victory. I want to deal with this matter of conquering a sin that has taken hold in your life. Many people, who have fallen, struggle with an ongoing sin that has taken over their lives. I want to deal with this matter of how to remove the roots of sin in your life.
A number of years ago, we had a fern that was growing in a small section of our backyard. The fern did not bother us at first because it only took a small space in the yard and it was rather attractive. However, it was not long until that fern began to spread. We did not realize that it was invasive. Our yard was soon covered with it. Time and time again I pulled the ferns only to see them return. What I did not realize is that below the surface were little bulbs from which those ferns were growing. Though unseen, as long as those bulbs were there below the surface, the ferns would return above it. There was only one solution. I had to dig up the yard and remove the bulbs.
There are many Christians who are wondering why the fern of sin keeps reappearing in their lives. They mow it over or pull it up from their lives only to see it return again. What they do not realize is, that their problem is not the sin itself. It is the bulb or seed of sin below the surface in their lives. There is something hidden that causes that sin to return time and time again. I believe that there are some things that you must do in order to win the victory once and for all over that sin. Let me give you some suggestions.
1. You must stop believing that you have power over the sin in and of yourself. Self talk is of no use in conquering sin. You have no power over sin. You can say, “I will not commit this sin again,” but that is not victory. That is merely temporary human resolve.
2. You must confess to God the fact that you have been defeated by this sin. True victory comes when you confess it and allow God to use his power to conquer the sin. He is able to forgive itpull up the fern and cleanse itroot out the bulb.
3. You must stop living in defeat to the fern and believe God has the power over the bulb and is faithful to remove it. His faithfulness is not our problem. Our defeatist attitude is.
4. You must be willing to let God “dig” in your life so he can get below the surface and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Now that may be a little messy and even a little painful. It may inconvenience your life, but it may be necessary to rid you on the roots of the sin with which you are struggling. Most of us are more worried about the ferns being seen on the outside, than we are the bulbs below the surface. That is called pride.
5. You must remember that God is God and you are not. Now that may sound strange, but when we try to accomplish what only God can do ,we make a mess of things. Let me give you an example. When I wanted to rid myself of those ferns, I took drastic, (and foolish) measures. I poured gasoline on one section of them and lit them on fire. They returned. I poured poison on them. The ferns died above ground but returned eventually. Everything I did above the ground was worthless. ONLY when I went below ground, was I able to rid myself of those pesky ferns once and for all. The same is true with the seeds of sin. Only God can get below the surface and rid us of that which keeps causing the surface sin to return. Let go and let God…
6. You must watch for the slightest sign of the surface sin from now on. Even after I finally dug up those bulbs, occasionally I saw a single fern coming up above the ground. I did not wait until there were several. I immediately dug under that fern to rid myself of that single fern. The same is true with that besetting sin. When you see the slightest sign of its return, confess it to God before it spreads.
The ferns of sin may not be your problem dear one. It may be that the bulbs below the surface must be removed, in order for the victory over that sin to be realized. Do what I did, and get more concerned with the bulbs below the surface of your life and you will have victory over the sin above it.