As people that love the Lord we can often feel our heart become wrenched at the presence of a sin that just doesn’t seem to ever go away. We might call it just a bad habit, or a “weakness” or, if it’s embarrassing, even a secret sin. Either way if you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you know what Paul was talking about in Romans 7:21-23 when he said —
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. MSG
This type of life where sin is never defeated isn’t the will of God though. As Paul goes on he tells of the turning point and the victory that is possible as we reach chapter 8:1-2…
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. MSG
That’s great news! So all our fighting is over now then right? Well… it’s not like our flesh or the tempter is going to lay down and quit. We are going to have to walk this out. So how do you do that? First and foremost we have to get in this Word and read it, and read it, and read it…and read it until it becomes bigger on the inside of us than the giants are in our eyes. For this post though I want to point out three keys or giant leaps forward to help you on your way as you meditate in the Word.
Giant Leap 1 – The first prayer that got you saved is the same prayer you need now.
One of the main reasons why we can hang onto sin is that we think that this one sin requires some advanced level of God’s power to deal with it. Somehow in our minds we think that because it’s been difficult it requires something with more oomph than what we used when we first got saved. The problem with this is that it assumes the cross is only a rudimentary element of Christianity.
Do you remember what it was like when you first asked the Lord into your heart? When you came to Him you had nothing to offer and He had everything to offer. You knew that the only way to make it would be if He did everything for you, right? Think about that grace. That type of arms-thrown-up-in-the-air in complete abandon is the reliance we have to have in the cross for any sin whether it’s old or new. Armed with this now we can believe that by trusting that His grace is enough we will receive power from Him to overcome. The gospel of Jesus Christ is enough for any sin issue in your life. End of story. Period.
Giant Leap 2 – If Jesus’ shed blood overcomes all sin then…let go.
I’m sure you’ve probably come home from a stressful day at work or school and as you finally relaxed you realized that your neck had been tensed up. The reason for this is that our bodies hold tension in areas that it wants to keep protected when it’s sensing stress. Just as we can do this with the stress of the day we can also have the tendency to do this in the spirit realm. Over time if we aren’t mindful of Who is in charge of the sin-defeating department we can slowly increase our grip on the issue until the only one dealing with it is us. There have been times where I have “come to” and realized that I had my hands wrapped all around the situation, sin or devil trying to choke it away which left no room for the Lord’s hands!
So how do we make sure we keep it in the Lord’s hands when the heat turns up? Thanksgiving and praise. It’s very difficult trying to be negative and thankful at the same time, so make it inconvenient to take it into your own hands. Make a lifestyle choice that puts thanksgiving and praise into every day of your week!
Giant Leap 3 – You have to disconnect with the enemy to connect with God.
If the first 2 aren’t making major headway for you then it could be that a deliverance is needed. In James 4:7 it says Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. NASB These three Leaps are pretty much summed up into this one scripture. We’ve been talking about submitting to God so now let’s move on to resisting the devil…
Resisting the enemy really means to leave no place for them (Eph 4:27). In other words taking out the circumstances that fuel the temptation. This can be external as far as literally cleaning house and lifestyle and it can also be internal in the cleaning of the mind and matching it to the mind of Christ. These have to do with fasted living where Jesus isn’t just savior but also Lord. We need to make sure that we have divorced the darkness in order for our marriage to the Bridegroom to be consistent.
Sometimes though there can be ties in the spirit that have been made that demonic forces use as an excuse to attach themselves to people. This isn’t a possession but rather an oppression when it’s a Christian. These people find salvation in Jesus but can still have an unusually strong pull towards one particular sin. When this happens it is usually that the demons look at that person as still being married to them.
For those situations I’d like to lead us in prayer in going before the Judge of Heaven and Earth and officially getting a divorce from the forces of darkness as well as to renew our marriage vows to Jesus Christ. If you feel that you need something like this please read this out loud and claim it for yourself —
Father we enter your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise. We go boldly before your throne because of the sacrifice of Your Son and today we call upon the Judge of Heaven and Earth who is Jesus Christ. We ask You for a divorce from Satan, Baal, the spirit of the anti-Christ and all the forces of darkness. As the Ekklesia, the legislative branch of Your kingdom on Earth we take up our authority to dissolve any contract made with evil and declare it null and void as Your representatives on Earth in the name above all other names, Jesus Christ. We also put into binding our marriage vows to Your son Jesus and declare that He is our only Lord. We attest that according to Your promises in the Word that this thing has been done for us and that the Lord our Judge has slammed His gavel down upon this ruling. We therefore believe in expectancy that the ties have been broken and that he who the Son sets free is free indeed! We speak this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Alright then, go take some leaps!