Overcoming Besetting and Recurring Sins

These sins that beset, that cling to and entangle us, keep us from running a good race. We are to look away from all that distracts us from this race, from living the new life in Christ, from keeping our eyes on Jesus. We need to be washing our robes in his blood, turning from idols, embracing his sacrifice, following his call and keeping ourselves clean and pure. Lets look at the beginning of Hebrews 12 where it talks about this race. First we’ll look in the New Living Translation and then again in the Amplified Bible.

God’s Discipline Proves His Love

NLT Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. 6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

AMP Heb 12:1 THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood. 5 And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?

If we are God’s children we will experience his discipline. We are warned not to reject this discipline or give up. We must endure and submit to his correction, this divine discipline.

We overcome recurring sins, these sins that cling to and entangle us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, trusting in him, and stripping off the weights[the sins and distractions] that slow us down, anything that pulls us from reliance on and communion with Jesus. We are to hold every thought captive, fighting against disbelief, and scoffing [remaining in fear and reverence to our awesome God].

Remaining in fellowship with him

NLT 1 John 5:13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 16 If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death. 18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. 21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

So this sin that leads to death is idolatry, anything that might take God’s top place in our heart. If we are not seeking to honor God, seeking first his will, and his Glory we are not carrying our cross. This is the role we are given.

There is another passage in the Psalms that helps us to understand these besetting sins. One of the key things that pulls us out of fellowship with God is sin. I think these besetting sins, the ones that keep tripping us up fall into the category of deliberate sin.

Keep Us Free From Deliberate Sins

NLT Ps 19:7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

If we can overcome these deliberate sins, David says we are free of guilt and innocent of great sin. Sure we still still have some hidden sins lurking in our hearts, some areas where we occasionally fail to keep the commands and fail to honor God, but if we maintain David’s humble attitude, his prayerful desire for God to reveal and free us from these hidden faults, as we turn away from these deliberate sins and keep his commands.

NLT 1 Cor 10:21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?

If we allow our idols to pull us to the table with demons, we will no longer have access to the Lord’s table!  We need to reject these idols and turn back to God. Coming Back To God

Dear God,

Please free us from deliberate sin and make us free of great sin. We so easily fall into the old ways of these besetting sins, these sins that so easily entangle us, keep us from running a good race. Help us to turn away from all that distracts us from this race, from living this new life in Christ, from washing our robes in Christ’s blood, fully embracing his sacrifice.  Help us to reject these idols that bring us to the table of demons.  Help us to keep you first.  In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen.

Glenn

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