WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 5, 2020
TOPIC: OVERCOMING THE BESETTING SIN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 King James Version).
What is Sin? The Greek word for sin is hamartia, which means missing the mark. This could be by omission or commission, or through our words or deeds. 1 John 5:17a gives a simple definition of sin. It says, “All unrighteousness is sin” (New King James Version).
According to 1 John 3:7-8, “He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (New King James Version).
The purpose of Jesus coming to the earth was to deliver us from the power of sin (John 1:29). He went to the cross to die for the remission or forgiveness of our sin. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not continue to sin because the very nature of God, the seed of God, dwells in him (1 John 3:9).
Satan introduced human beings to sin in the Garden of Eden and since then, man has kept on sinning. Satan’s intention was and remains to separate man eternally from God. Sin separates man from God; it causes God to hide His face from the sinner (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 1:18-32; Deuteronomy 31:17-18; 2 Chronicles 24:20).
The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 King James Version).
This scripture talks about two things to be laid aside or gotten rid of: every weight and the sin that easily beset us. Weight speaks of an encumbrance, an impediment, or a hindrance. It does not have to be something evil or sinful. It may be something generally good but not good or right for you as a person because it won’t help you or contribute to God’s purpose for your life. You must shed “excess weight.”
Paul, speaking along this line, said, “You may say, ‘I am allowed to do anything.’ But I reply, ‘Not everything is good for you.’ And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12 New Living Translation).
Hebrews 12:1 also talks about “the sin which doth so easily beset us” (King James Version) or “the sin which so easily ensnares us” (New King James Version). The Greek word for besetting as it’s used in Hebrews 12:1 is euperistatos, which means skillfully surrounding i. e. besetting, namely, to prevent or retard (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).
Besetting sin means, “the easily entangling sin” (The Emphasized New Testament: A New Translation). It means the sin “which doth naturally enwrap us” (The New Testament by Henry Alford). It also means “sin into which we come so readily” (The New Testament in Basic English).
The Amplified Bible renders it as “that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings” to us. The New Translation in Modern Speech by Richard Weymouth describes besetting sin as “the sin that so readily entangles our feet.” According to “The Epistles of Paul” by W.J Conybeare, it is “the sin which clingeth closely round us.” The New Century Version calls it “the sin that easily holds us back.” The sin that besets someone could be more than one. Thus, one can have besetting sins.
How to overcome the besetting sin
1. Identify the sin, repent of it, confess it, and forsake it. The first thing anyone who is not born again must do is to admit that he is a sinner and cannot save himself. He must accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.
A sin is a sin, not a mere weakness. Whether you are born again or not, don’t justify your sin or explain it away. Don’t say everybody is doing it or it’s impossible to do without it. That’s a lie of the devil that will keep you in bondage forever.
God demands that you repent of your sins, confess and forsake them. Acts 17:30 says “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (New King James Version). If you’re going to overcome the besetting sin, you cannot afford to be keeping away your besetting sin from God.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (New King James Version). Instead of covering your sin, open up to God. He’ll do an excellent job of covering your sins.
Psalm 32:1-2 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (New King James Version). Did you see that phrase, whose sin is covered? Don’t hide your secret with the devil; hide it with God, as you confess to Him.
2. Study and meditate on the Word of God that speaks against sin. Fill your heart with the Word of God. Displace and replace the dirty things in your heart with the Word of God and this will influence your actions. Every sin proceeds from the heart (Matthew 15:19).
From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). You can’t want to have victory over sexual immorality yet you surround yourself with pornographic materials – obscene magazines and films. You must burn this ‘contraband’ if you’re serious about overcoming your besetting sin of sexual immorality.
3. Obey the Word of God and abstain from every appearance of evil. The Bible says you should flee from sin. Flee means flee! Don’t play with sin; don’t toy with it. “Flee sexual immorality” (1Corinthians. 6:18a New King James Version).
Flee from your lusts, your idols, your pet sins (1 Corinthians 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:22). It has been rightly said that sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.
Joseph had to flee from Mrs. Potiphar who wanted to seduce him to commit sexual immorality with her (Genesis 39:11-12). Joseph didn’t stand before her confessing the Word of God or speaking in tongues! You must flee from sin and abstain from all appearances of evil (Hebrews 12:4; 1Thessalonians 5:22).
Know when to flee. Flee! Run from locations or environments the devil normally uses to make you commit these sins. Don’t go to places that make you vulnerable. Obey the Word of God.
4. Consistently confess relevant scriptures against the sin before there is a temptation to commit it. Your confession will reframe your life from a life of sin to that of holiness. The Word of God you confess has the power to reframe your life. Hebrews 11:3 says the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things that are visible.
5. Resist the devil steadfastly with faith. Resist any temptation to commit this sin; resist it with the Word of God. The Bible says you should submit to God and resist the devil, and he’ll flee from you (James 4:7; 1Peter 5:9). Jesus resisted Satan with the Word of God when he came to tempt Him (Matthew 4:1-11).
Temptation is not a sin until you yield to it. Don’t yield to temptation and claim you’re helpless. No. Help is available to you in God.
6. Have a partner you are accountable to. This can be a mature Christian or a trusted Christian friend whom you can confide in and can help you in maintaining your victory over this sin, monitor your progress and you can discuss your challenges and victories with (Galatians 6:1-2; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). James 5:16 says we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed.
Stop pretending that you are all right when you’re decaying inside. Seek godly help. Confess to a mature Christian who can pray with you, advise you, guide you, encourage you, etc. I’m not talking about someone who’ll be gossiping about you and raising your case as a prayer point everywhere in the guise of helping you. Expose the devil and you will be on your way to victory.
7. Engage in personal prayer and fasting. “Jesus replied, ‘This kind can be cast out only by prayer’” (Mark 9:29 New Living Translation). Some translations read by “prayer and fasting.” Are you so serious about being free that you can pray and fast about it? Prayer with fasting helps to destroy the stronghold of that sin in your life
8. Go for deliverance. In Romans 7:18-25, Paul tells us his struggle with sin. He couldn’t do the right thing he wanted to do; he found himself doing the wrong thing he didn’t want to do. However, he found his deliverance in Christ Jesus
Meet your pastor and confess to him your struggles regarding this sin that has closely clung to you and would not leave you – the more you try, the more you see yourself falling into it again. It’s no longer an incident; it has become a spirit. It is a stubborn spirit.
Thank God the anointing destroys the yoke (Isaiah 10:27). Upon Mount Zion, there shall be deliverance and holiness and you shall possess your possession (Obadiah 17). Don’t hide it until it destroys you. Seek help from the anointed before it is too late.
9. Depend on the grace of God and never give up. Look into Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, (Hebrews 12:2). Don’t give up your battle over this sin even if it seems you’re not making progress. Victory over sin may sometimes not be evident immediately in the physical, but don’t allow the devil to frustrate you to conclude that it’s impossible for you to do without the sin.
Trust in the accomplished work of Jesus on the cross – the power of the blood of Jesus over sin. Step up your efforts doing all the points highlighted in this message, even if it seems things are not getting better. It’s a lie of the devil. It’s a strategy of the devil to frustrate you.
As you’ve read in Hebrews12:1, every weight and every besetting sin must be cast away, stripped off, flung aside, laid aside if you’ll be able to run the race God has set before you. They’re contraband that won’t allow you to get to God’s destination, heaven!
As a Christian, you are running a race. No athlete carries luggage with him, set on the mark for a race; it will disturb him. He can’t make it. You can’t make this race with extra and unnecessary luggage of weight and besetting sin – you’ll be too heavy, you’ll drop out of the race. Get rid of every weight and the besetting sin in your life today.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I receive deliverance from the sin that easily besets or entangles me. I have victory over every sin in my life. Sin shall not have dominion over me. Holy Spirit, I receive your help to overcome every sin and live a holy life.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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