I have recently been approached by a few young ladies, who are engaged in a promiscuous lifestyle, and know the right thing to do, but feel that they are too weak to stop themselves. This has been quite disturbing for me, and I have been a bit stuck on how to advice them, since they already know that what they are doing is wrong…
I have also been approached by women who are involved in relationships that they know they should not continue, either because the man is being emotionally abusive, or because they are unequally yoked or engaged in sexual immorality. They too know that they should discontinue such relationships, but feel like they need someone to talk to them and help them make the move.
I feel at a loss. My instinct is to throw my hands in the air and say, “what do you expect me to do or say?” or “what magical words can I say to make you stop doing what you already know you should not be doing?” In a couple of cases, I have felt the need to call the person, hoping that the phone call would overcome barriers to communication, and those times, I’ve usually found the words to say to encourage them to do what is right. But for the most part, I feel that they are the ones standing in their own way.
So, let me have another go… For the benefit of other ladies (and gents) who might be going through a similar struggle. I want to assume that you are Christian, and it is because your conscience is pricked that you have decided to seek help. So I will write to you as though you believe in Jesus.
If however you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then that would explain your feelings of powerlessness over sin. If that is you, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk more…
Dear, dear child of God,
The first thing you need to do is recognise WHO YOU ARE (1 Pet 2:9, 2 Cor 5:21) and WHOSE YOU ARE (1 Cor 6:20, 1 Cor 7:23). If truly you have given your life to Jesus, He has given you power already to overcome sin. You are the one hindering yourself with your unbelief, thinking you are powerless (Matt 9:29). Everything you need to be victorious over sin is already in you…(Rom 6:14) Remember Who lives in you (Gal 2:20)!
You have to stop resisting God, and let Him change you from the inside out… Let Him change your heart and your passions, by submitting them to Him. Let Him renew your mind, by meditating on His wisdom, His word as revealed in the Bible. You need to let Him guide your steps, by listening…developing a relationship with Him, by spending time in prayer, worship, and heeding His counsel when He gives it. Yes, His sheep DO hear His voice and follow… (John 10:27)
We all face temptations (1 Cor 10:13). We all struggle with sinful desires (Rom 7:15-21). We are all prone to mistakes, carnal thinking and foolishness (1 John 1:8-10). But our Father is wise. He is love. He is powerful. He has gifted us with His Spirit, so that we can be like Him (1 John 3:2-3). It may seem impossible, but there is really nothing impossible for God (Matt 19:26, Luke 1:37).
I think part of the reason you choose sin is because you believe that it is sweeter and easier, and that righteousness is too hard and inconveniencing. The battle here is in your mind…maybe you don’t really believe that if you do it God’s way you will get a better outcome or even enjoy life. Maybe you don’t appreciate the wisdom of the Cross, which is the principle of dying to live, losing to gain (Luke 9:24). Resisting temptation may be hard, but suffering the effects of sin is much worse, considering the impact of sin in the world…including the guilt that is eating you up right now!
Having a clear conscience and peace of mind is a beautiful joy and liberation for those who go through the fire of denying themselves…and in time, strengthen their character and allow God to do His perfect work in conditioning their hearts. Every time you believe the lie of the devil that what God has called you to do is impossible or unreasonable, you allow yourself to be bound and permit the devil to do his destructive work in your soul. Christ came to give you ABUNDANT life, not a mediocre existence (John 10:10). Believe Him!
You don’t realise it, but every time you give in to sin, you are killing yourself. You poison yourself. You make yourself weaker, by weakening not only your mind (in your lack of resolve), but also your spirit (as you feed your flesh), heart (you do not grow in love) and body (through abuse and addictive behaviour). These faculties must be trained by submission to God, and spiritual discipline and self-control (Rom 12:1-2).
The good news is that God is there to help you, you just have to let Him. Start by forgiving yourself, and asking Him for His forgiveness and empowerment to walk in righteousness before Him. Believe Him when He says that you are forgiven, and stand up, dust off your shame, and walk in newness (1 John 1:7-9). Learn His wisdom by spending time with Him and other Believers, and submit yourself to His discipline.
Don’t fall for the lie that those who are happiest are those who are uninhibited. We are all controlled by something. Those without God are under the control of fear and greed. Before you allowed your lust and passions to control you…now you must bring them into submission and let God control you! He is the only One with foresight able to direct your life in the way that will leave you satisfied and bring about the greatest good in the world. Believe me, nothing else satisfies. Your selfish desires only leave you addicted and broken, but God satisfies and still gives more to overflowing.
If ever you are weak again, let God’s Spirit that abides with you minister to you. You really don’t need me or anyone to tell you these things. You know that this is the truth, because of the Spirit of Truth. Learn to hear Him, and learn to let Him speak through you as well. You can start by ministering to yourself…and you will soon find that you are ministering to others too.
You can either write the ministration down as the Spirit leads, or you can do what I suggested to a particular lady. Look in the mirror and speak the truth to yourself, as though you are speaking to your best friend. Rebuke in love, but don’t condemn. Inspire, reminding yourself of the goodness of God and His plans for you. Counsel yourself, decide to forsake bad company, or discontinue watching or reading what will not edify. Memorise scriptures that speak to your situation, that rebuke, inspire and counsel you, and let them do the work in your heart and in your mind, as you meditate on them often.
The rest is just to be faithful and humble. Even if you fall again, don’t hesitate to go back to God for forgiveness and restoration (Prov 24:16). Don’t let pride or shame keep you away from His grace. He loves you enough, and His grace is sufficient. He has called you to perfection (Matt 5:48), and He is the one doing that work in you (Phil 1:6, Phil 2:13), if you will not resist nor give up (Gal 6:9)!
So, my Sisters (and Brothers), “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). I also pray “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power….” (Eph 1:17-19). Amen.
God loves you and is with you. I wish you all the best!
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