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Today, I want to share an article written by one my favorite Christian bloggers, Sophia Vilceus of The Praying Woman blog. This is a powerful and boldly written article on a subject that we just don’t talk about enough:
The Sin That Just Won’t Let Go
Each of us will struggle at some point in our lives with a “sin which so easily ensnares us”. It’s an inevitable part of being human living with a sin-nature. However, can do either one of two things: 1) choose to remain ensnared by this sin and die a spiritual death, OR, we can choose to let Christ free us from the sin, and LIVE a life free from bondage and ensnarement. The choice is yours.
“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1
There are some things that just do not tempt me–not because I’m holier than the next person who struggles with that very thing, but because I am wired differently for whatever reason.
As a Christian, it does no good for me to speak to the things that simply don’t trip me up. If I did, it would just make me unwarrantly boastful and it would do more damage than good to my sister or brother, struggling with that particular sin.
However, I fully recognize and admit that I know what it is to have sin that easily ensnares me. And I would imagine that you also have that one thing (or things) that trips you up often and easily.
So what does it mean to have sin that easily ensnares us, anyway? For me, it’s that area of my life that I have wrestled with the most, journaled about behind closed doors, prayed to God about, felt convicted for, toyed with and made accomodations for. It’s the sin that I tried to rationalize with God about in a dangerous and cyclic way. Simply put, it’s the sin that is just hard to walk away from, let alone talk about.
When I think of sin that easily ensnares, the image of a mouse getting groomed towards a mouse trap comes to mind. Mice can be so sneaky, cunning, strategic, and arguably smart. Yet, you put some cheese or peanut butter on a mouse trap, and they are easily lured and ensnared. We can be mice. And the sin that slowly but surely cajoles us away from the will of God is our cheese and peanut butter.
It’s increasingly difficult to walk away from sin because it’s enjoyable. It fills a void, even temporarily. Sin is hard to grapple with because we enjoy some element of it.
We are all sinful in nature and obviously we can never be sinless because we are not Jesus. The goal is not perfection but rather to lean in harder to The Perfect One so that we do not wallow in our sin.
One sure method to ensure that we are not making room for our sin is to remove the provisions we have made for it– sometimes that looks like literally removing items from our homes, bedrooms, televisions, and address-book.
When I feel convicted about my sin, sometimes I try to rationalize it away by comparing it to what I know others are doing around me, to make myself feel better.
But it clearly says in Hebrews 12:1, “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Our faith-walk is ours and it’s going to be specifically designed for us. God’s standard is in His word.
Furthermore, some of us are called to a higher calling. So there is no point in comparing ourselves, let alone our sins to others. We must just run our race!
Spiritual warfare is real and I’ve certainly experienced it in different seasons of my life, as I became complacent in my sin.
There is no doubt that spiritual warfare can take on various forms, but for me, it’s a literal experience, especially at night. It’s a restlessness that comes from deep down in my soul. The world may simply call it, “tossing and turning” but truthfully it’s a lack of physical and spiritual peace and rest.
When I experience spiritual warfare, most times it’s because I’m missing the mark, in some capacity.
But God is so very good and extremely merciful. On the cross, Jesus made provisions for us to live a life free from the full ramifications of sin.
But be mindful that God still disciplines those He calls His children (Hebrews 12:5). So it’s imperative that when we feel a warning in our sin, to take it seriously and wrestle with that thing in the Spirit.
Feelings do not move God. Faith and obedience do. So once we know better, we are called to do better, even when our feelings are not in alignment. So though you may not feel like cutting ties, losing his number, or cancelling the subscription, I encourage you to do so so that you can have all God has for you.
This is the prayer I prayed over myself, feel free to join in:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for being a God of so many chances. I don’t know what I would do if You weren’t so merciful and filled with so much grace.
But Lord, I do not want to abuse your patience with me. God, there are so many things that I want for my life and anything standing in the way of those things, I loose in the name of Jesus.
Lord, I lay aside my sin that has so easily ensnares me .
Forgive me for coveting this sin. If I was strong on my own, I would have been free by now.
But I know with Your grace and power in my life, I can leave this sin behind. I make the firm decision to walk away from what doesn’t please You. I long to be in the center of Your will.
In Jesus’ name, amen.