As we have been looking at repentance together, I wonder if you have found yourself saying, “I know the Bible tells me to repent, and I’ve really tried, but it seems like I’m right back where I started…I don’t know what I am doing wrong.” For some, trying to overcome the same sin has led to discouragement, frustration and some have even given up and just accepted it as a part of life. For example, some say, “I can’t help it, it just my nature to …..”
So how can we stop the cycle of sin? Here are three steps that will help.
Call it what it is. Too often we call our sins, bad habits. To get the right perspective on them we should call them what the are, sins, they are rebellion towards God. I once heard a story of a woman who went to Charles Spurgeon saying she had a problem with exaggeration. His advice to her was to call them lies. We should recognize the problem and call it what it is.
Walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Our solution is not finding the energy and power to overcome our addictions and sins. We must come in full surrender to Jesus Christ, confessing our sins, and yielding ourselves to Him so that by His grace we can walk in the Spirit. Only in Christ can we be more than conquerors (see Romans 3:27).
Stop feeding the flesh. Romans 13:14 commands us, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” What we feed grows. You may have heard the ‘The Tale of Two Wolves’ A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear. The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?” The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed.
If we keep feeding the flesh and thinking of how to gratify the desires of the flesh, we will always be fighting a losing battle. Scripture calls us to think and meditate on God’s word and to clothe ourselves in Christ. As we do so, He will increase in our lives, and the flesh will decrease.