10 Steps to Take against Sin You Can’t Shake

10 Steps to Take against Sin You Can’t Shake

You have seen how it steals from your life. You have had others call you on it. You have half-heartedly tried to leave it behind but keep finding it lurking at every doorway. It is your favorite sin. Not that you love it, you may even despise it, but somehow you have yet to shake it. We sometimes settle for calling them vices, weaknesses, or flaws, but Christ has far more in mind for us than captivity. He desires freedom for His people, and giving life to the spiritually dead. Here are your next steps to move toward His plans.

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  • 1. Know That You Need Christ to Shake off Sin

    1. Know That You Need Christ to Shake off Sin

    The first step in escaping the tangles of sin is always looking first to the only one who has defeated sin and death out of his deep love for us, Jesus Christ. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8  Sin continuously pulls down all of humanity with its corrosive ways, but those who have had its stain wiped from their hearts have the power to say “No”. The only way for that stain to be lifted is by seeking Christ as Savior, He clothes us in His righteousness and our filthy rags will be no more. When we begin seeking to walk in victory, we first must set our eyes on the one who is eternally victorious.

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  • 2. Seek the Holy Spirit for Strength

    2. Seek the Holy Spirit for Strength

    We need the gospel in our everyday life just as much as we needed it the first day God rescued us. Too often Christians are tempted to accept the grace Jesus offers for salvation, but then try to conquer sin out of their own strength instead of that offered by the Spirit. Paul takes the reader aside in Galatians 3:2-3and says, “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”  Paul’s tone here always makes me chuckle and feel convicted, it is like he is saying, “Really, guys?! Come on, OF COURSE you can’t do this on your own!”   

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  • 3. Repent

    3. Repent

    The first of the 95 Theses that Martin Luthernailed to the Wittenberg door reminds that, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Repentance is not momentary guilt. It is not just declaring “my bad” and feeling sorry, but hating your sin; not only because it hurts you and other people but because it is cosmic offense against God. This is a deep sorrow that causes one to turn their back and run from the sin that has tried to devour them. It recognizes the depth of transgression and becomes resolute: from now on, no more. 

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  • 4. Pray

    4. Pray

    Prayer is soul preparation for the daily battles we face. Jesus himself went off to pray to prepare for what awaited him, and he advised his disciples to do the same, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:40 The battle against sin will be fought by the body, mind, and in the spiritual unseen places as well. Prayer slices through areas we cannot perceive, and places us on the offensive against the enemy who seeks to drag us down.

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  • 5. Recognize the Lies You’ve been Sold and Replace Them with Truth

    5. Recognize the Lies You’ve been Sold and Replace Them with Truth

    “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5 The principle for this step is simple: identify the lie and make it obedient. The greatest difficulty in identifying the lies is removing the veneer of truth. We often let deception worm its way into the foundation of our life through half-truths, so we must compare what we have believed with the knowledge of God and ask ourselves, “am I operating from His truth?” Counselors, mentors, and close friends can help you in this process if you find it difficult. 

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  • 6. Meditate on the Promises of God

    6. Meditate on the Promises of God

    Time and time again the Bible instructs people to meditate on the word of God, but too often we let our thoughts dwell on the problems before us instead of the promises of our God. When we are thinking about the great freedom, love, and hope our Lord offers we are less likely to settle for the temporary, momentary pleasures that tempt us to turn from truth. The preoccupation and focus on sin alone only makes us feel the desire for it more. Guard your thoughts, and when you find yourself focused on what takes you captive, turn your thoughts instead to what will set you free. “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.” Psalm 104:34

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  • 7. Put On After You Put Off

    7. Put On After You Put Off

    “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 Just as taking off a piece of clothing is often followed by putting something back on, lest we expose our bodies, and become vulnerable. The same goes for our lives, when we take off the ways that reflect the fallen flesh we must also put on the things that reflect the glory of God. 

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  • 8. Look for the Way Out and Take it

    8. Look for the Way Out and Take it

    God encourages us in his word saying, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13There is ALWAYS a way out. It is a promise from our faithful God, though we don’t always like the option he presents. The way out can simply be, “no.” However, sometimes the way out is costly. It may cost us someone’s approval, it may cost us money, or it could cost us even more,  but it is a choice towards true life, instead of death. We should always choose life; even when the way out is hard, He makes it worth it.

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  • 9. Involve Others

    9. Involve Others

    When we invite others into the struggles that plague us we multiply the power of the body of Christ. James 5:16 commands us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Feeling alone makes us vulnerable, and we were not created to walk through life alone. We were meant to love and serve one another, and in doing so we find the blessing and strength offered by walking together.

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  • 10. Resist the Devil

    10. Resist the Devil

    In 1 Peter 5:8 Peter places us all on guard. He says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  We must always remember that our God is bigger, better, and forever victorious over the evil one; that does not mean the devil will not try to drag us down and bury us in the shame and destruction of our sin. So we must resist! We resist the lies. We resist the traps. We resist until the day all is made new, when there is no more sin, and we are with the Lord in all his magnificent glory.

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    Chara Donahue is a freelance writer who is working on her first book. She enjoys doing biblical counseling, speaking to women, and savoring coffee when her four kids are out playing with dad. She holds an MSEd from Corban University, is passionate about seeing people set free through God's truths, and is the founder and editor of Anchored Voices. Get in touch with her on Facebook or Twitter.