No excuses, make an effort: Conquering Sin

I wrote this blog out quite some time ago. It touches on and reveals something deeply personal to me but I am comfortable and feel like the time is right to share it with you all. I pray that you will be blessed by this blog as I have been blessed by the Spirit in studying, researching, and writing it. For HIS Glory, Katie

Temptation and sin is something I am pretty familiar with. I don’t know if you are like me, I tend to think this is how it is for everyone: When I am NOT being obedient and faithful to the Lord and I am not pursuing him daily, praying, repenting, reading his Word, and truly evaluating my heart and Christian walk, I have less of a problem giving into temptation and sinning. When I am not right with God, I can very easily justify my actions, words, and motives, that generally are selfish  and not spirit controlled. This in turn results in bad decisions, ugly speech, completely wrong motives, and all too often a person oblivious to their selfish lifestyle. Until the Lord graciously brings me to my knees and I realize I stink with out him.

I am learning that when I am seeking the Lord with a sincere heart and desire to please him, that he keeps me aware of the things I struggle with. This allows me to remain focused on how I can conquer those sins and be prepared when temptations arise.

The first thing I have learned you must do to conquer sin is you have to be honest with yourself and acknowledge the sin in your life for what it is. Sin. You have to confess. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. I haven’t really ever come out and shared this in my blog because it is something that is personal, but it is one of the best examples I have out of my own life of a sin I struggled to acknowledge. Off and on since I was 17 I battled with trying to control my food. For years that was how I looked at this problem. That it was just me, controlling my food, being aware of calories in and calories out. Being “healthy”. It got pretty bad a few years ago, shortly after I had Ryann. The problem I had, on top of the obvious, was admitting it WAS in fact an eating disorder. I was struggling with anorexia. I, like so many people out there, refused to put that label on it. In my mind to be anorexic you had to be not eating a single ounce of food. That is simply not true. As defined by the Mayo Clinic “Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat.” If you are interested you can read further here. It also talks about obsessive exercise as well, which was also something I was engaging in. All happening in my head, I counted calories, contemplated my weight, what I looked like in clothes, how much I had run that day, and so forth. I was absolutely obsessed. And yet could not admit there was anything WRONG with this. I can now pin point EVERYTHING that was wrong with that picture. First of all the only thing you should EVER be obsessed with is CHRIST, other wise you are idolizing something else. The bible very clearly tells us to “flee from the worship of idols.” (1 Corinthians 10:14) Need a refresher on what an idol is? Merriem Webster defines idol: a representation or symbol of an object of worship. An object of extreme devotion. Devotion: the state of being ardently dedicated and loyal. Secondly, as the bible instructs us, I was not treating my body as a temple. (The Message) 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. That part about “squandering what God paid such a high price for” ouch, I basically was slapping him in the face with how I was treating my perfectly healthy body. That was tough to swallow. The entire time I struggled with this sin, I lied to myself thinking there wasn’t anything wrong with “eating healthy” and exercising often. Meanwhile I was taking for granted the health God had blessed me with. I share all this with you to make the point that when I finally was able to admit that I had a problem with this sin I began the process of overcoming it.

After you acknowledge your sin it is key to share it with someone in order to be held accountable for that sin. James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to be engaged with people in the body of Christ. You absolutely can not conquer sin by yourself. Jason was already well aware of my ordeal and extremely worried and frustrated with my actions and refusal to change. When the Lord finally broke through to me I not only admitted to Jason that he had been right but I decided it was important to share with my parents and siblings this painful secret I’d been keeping. It was embarrassing and emotional to be honest about this sin. But I now had the support and accountability I needed to beat it. One thing I had learned from this experience is not to take it lightly. It was obviously consuming me and I was ready to utilize anything available to overcome my struggle. This included me meeting with a Christian counselor. And let me just say that I miss meeting with her. Though I am healthy enough now that I don’t need too. 🙂

I’d say the biggest part of conquering my sin, was being forthcoming with God and the people that loved me.

With my relationship with Christ He daily revealed how ugly, destructive and dangerous my actions were. I began to feel remorseful over my behavior. Which led me to repentance. Psalm 51:17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

This is extremely important when we are dealing with ANY sin. Big or small. We must truly repent of it to move forward and strengthen our fight against it. If you do not honestly have a repentant heart, you will not find rest from that sin. I see this re occurring theme with Christians today, my self included. If I am trying to hold onto sin in my life I will make every excuse possible to make the sin, not a sin. I will tell myself reasons for why it’s okay, how “the bible doesn’t say….”, or whatever I can think of to not let it go. Or sometimes I will doubt myself and my actions, and wonder “Is this okay with God?” May I suggest that if you have those same doubts, it may just be the Holy Spirit gently and softly trying to get your attention. Seek the Lord on these matters, not what everyone else is doing.

Through this experience my relationship with Christ was deepened. I started to get my spiritual health back on track and this enabled to get my physical health in order as well. I am now in a place where I know the signs that lead me down that path. Which leads me to my last point.

Satan knows this is one of my greatest weaknesses. He does not want me to have victory over this sin. But I am determined not to let him win. Satan is a liar, and he continues to try and plant lies to suck me into the cycle to this day.  Now though, I am equipped with awareness and strength from the Holy Spirit. I have support and accountability from my friends and family. Knowing the patterns of any sin can help you be prepared for when the temptations arise and give you a greater chance of conquering it.

So what are you waiting for? Take the hand of your sweet Savior and partner with Him who gives you the strength and ability to be “more than conquerors” in all these things. Romans 8:37

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