Many Christians struggle with a particular area of weakness. What the world calls an addiction, Christian theology calls a “besetting sin.” The Puritans spoke of a “Darling Sin”, a particular sin that is loved, fondled, protected, and repeated often.

The Christian with a sensitive heart knows the Bible commands God’s people to be perfect, as the Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:48), and to lay aside “the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Heb. 12:1).

Some ways this can be done is to memorize the Scripture, meditate upon it day and night, and keep it before one’s mind, literally.

Memorize Scripture. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalms 119:11). Start with these verses.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-17).

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).

Meditate on Scripture. “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (Psalms 119:15).

As you meditate on Scripture, do so by faith, and not by sight. Personal experiences can deceive the heart. Satan will come and tell the soul that self can never overcome sin.

The Evil One will suggest that self will never have enough faith not to sin.

Worldly religion, and false theology will promote the idea that self cannot be different. “You are you. Therefore, just be who you are, and live with it. Do not worry about being a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).”

The Enemy will come to tell individuals, “God loves you, just as you are. You do not have to change. You can have your sin and heaven too!” There is no incentive to be fundamentally and forever different. With smooth words and clever twisting of truth millions are given a heavenly way to go to hell.

Only by meditating on Scripture will the truth be realized that Christ came to save us from the penalty, power, and pollution of sin, not to leave us in it. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God” (1 Thess. 4:3-5). Those who name the name of Jesus must be converted, they must be born again. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

Those who are truly born of God will cease from sinning. They must if they want to go to heaven. Therefore, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” e 34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame (NIV).

As Scripture is meditated on, let the heart be turned from self to the Savior. It is Jesus who saves. We cannot help ourselves. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8).

All the self-help books in the world cannot, and has not changed society, for, salvation is of the LORD. What people need is not moral reformation, but regeneration. Only God can convert the soul. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). Micah realized this and said, “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).

While meditating on sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come, while meditating on the love of God, the forgiveness of sin, the death of Christ, and the hope of eternal life bringing freedom from inward corruption, consider practical steps that can be taken to separate yourself from your addiction, your “besetting sin,” your “Darling sin.” When the patriarch Job struggled with lust he made a covenant with his eyes not to think upon a maid (Job 31:1). When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he first tried to reason his way out of a sinful invitation, but then had to literally flee from the room of lust (Gen. 39:12). Sometimes people have to physically remove themselves from people, places, and situation that are the source of sin. It takes time to be holy, and it takes effort.

Make the Scripture Readily Available. “Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the tables of thine heart” (Proverbs 7:3).

In Matthew 23:5, Jesus mentioned the phylacteries religious Jews would wear. The Greek term meant, “defense”, or “protection.” Some Jews took strips of parchment and inscribed four texts: Exodus 13:1-10; Exodus 11:16; Deut. 6:4-9; Deut. 11:18-21. These passages were encased in a square leather case, which was fastened by a strap to the forehead just between the eye. The “making broad the phylacteries”, which Jesus condemned, referred to the enlarging of the case containing Scripture so that all could see how serious a person was to keep the Law.

While the practice of making the Scriptures literally available for memorization is commendable, their spirit is not soundly condemned because there is a lack of seriousness about sin. David lamented that his sin was ever before him (Psalm 51:3). Paul cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

Freedom! That is what the Christian wants. The desperate heart, sick of repetitive sin, wants to cease from sinning for sin brings shame, depression, self-loathing, and hatred of self. Some find relief only in suicide. God does not want His children to harm themselves by committing suicide, self-mutilation, or sublimation. He wants them to find freedom through Divine forgiveness and regeneration of the Holy Ghost.

To achieve that end, let the Christians make the Scriptures readily available by writing some passages out, literally, and reviewing them on a daily basis for as long as takes for a besetting sin to be conquered.

Look outwardly to Christ, and not inwardly, for self-help.  “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:3).

Christian, are you struggling with an addiction, a besetting sin, a Darling transgression? Is your heart crying out, “Dear God, PLEASE help me?” You may be struggling with jealousy, a spirit of vindictiveness, lust, covetousness, hatred, anger, greed, pride, or bitterness The sins of the saints are many. If you are weary of sinning, and filled with self-loathing, if you sincerely want to be fundamentally, and forever different, then remember, where sin abounds, grace does much more abound (Rom. 5:20). Take heart. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19). Jesus saves!

 

“We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward!—’tis our Lord’s command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing above the battle’s strife,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
By His death and endless life,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;

Sing it softly thru the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves,
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.

Give the winds a mighty voice,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Let the nations now rejoice.
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;

Shout salvation full and free,
Highest hills and deepest caves,
This our song of victory,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s