Suppose you could see the reality of the spiritual world and, like God, knew what people were thinking. As you observe, you see a dark brooding angelic figure lurking outside the door of a young Christian named Danny.
Disguised as an angel of light, this demon subtly suggests to Danny that he open the door to sin: “Why don’t you take a peek at this website? You know you want to. You will get away with it. Who would know? Everyone else does it.”
The Spirit of God within Danny brings immediate conviction and offers a way of escape. Also within Danny is an appetite for food and sex, and a desire to operate independently from God. The flesh in Danny wants to be satisfied and offers an argument against the Spirit of God. “What’s wrong with looking at pornography anyway? After all, who created me to have all these desires? Wasn’t it God?
The battle in the mind is intense, “For the flesh sets it desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another.” (Gal. 5:17) But Danny failed to take the way of escape by “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) At first, the pictures are a delight to his eyes and his body responds with explosions of feeling. But the pleasure is only for a moment because he is tempted and carried away and enticed by his own lust. The result is sin and death. (see James 1:14-15)
Danny has open the door to the enemy because he has acted independently of God by choosing to sin. Now the enemy’s role changes from tempter to accuser, “You will never get away from this, how can you call yourself a Christian? You’re pathetic!
Overcome by guilt, Danny cries out to God, “Lord, forgive me, I’ll never do it again.” Two day later, Danny sins again, and he plays out the whole cycle again. He soon finds himself in a downward cycle of sin confess, sin confess and the cycle continues. Danny is caught in a cycle of habitual sin, and a prison of condemnation and guilt.
Does this story relate to you? Someone you know? So many believers are caught in a desperate cycle of habitual sin. How can you break free?
- Know that you are forgiven by God. Danny has confessed his sin over and over. This cycle of sin confess, sin confess will only drive Danny into greater depths of despair and adding more shame and guilt.
- Learn how to confess, the right way. To confess is to agree with God. It is the first step in repentance, but repentance is not complete without change. We must agree with God and face the truth, but this will not completely deal with sin’s trap.
- Learn to submit to God and resist the devil and close the door. This completes repentance. The door will be closed when all the bondages have been broken. This includes breaking down mental strongholds and harmful relationships that are feeding the problem. Habitual sin continues because many Christians do not understand how to close the door to the enemy.
We have resources to help you, please call us! Our passion is to help you overcome habitual sin. The above story is taken from Discipleship Counseling by Dr. Neil Anderson.
Vice President of Infusion Ministries