Action Steps in Response to Sin

What can I do? This question has faced many. It is very difficult for someone to discover habitual sin that has been hidden. Besides the knife in the heart feeling, and a mind racing with possibilities, it’s important to gain what is promised to us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but rather of power, love and a sound mind.”  First of all, realize that fear is your enemy and you need to choose to think rightly and get the help of a biblically sound person. Recognize the power of God to help you and allow His love to motivate you toward a godly solution.

When someone sins against you, they first have sinned against God and lived in rebellion to Him. They have failed to worship God and have an ungrateful heart.[1]

Decide to be a tool in God’s Hand to bring sin into the light (I John 1:7), this is vital. This offers the opportunity for repentance and confession (I John 1:9).  Perhaps this hasbridge-19513__480 already happened on occasion with this person; you must realize that there is a deep, deep stronghold that comes with habitual sin — especially sexual idolatry. Coming out requires much more than confession and repentance, intensive restructuring with God’s Word and accountability is mandatory. Don’t agree to just let it ride and become their monitor; that will not work.

Freedom, found in Christ, comes from walking in the light and hating sin; we must hate sin as God does. Consistent, honest openness and accountability with another party is required. It takes work. Changing the mind and its patterns concerning what is pleasing to God is vital.  Humility is a major factor in overcoming the past, and pride will fight against this all along the way.

boy-1916204__480Action Steps: If you feel sin is present, don’t allow fear and suspicion to rule your heart.  Instead, take steps toward having a conversation about what you are feeling with the one involved (Mt. 18:15-17). If this fails, find one or two to come along and assist you.

In order to prepare yourself:

1) Think biblically: get biblical counsel if you are unable to think this through yourself. Living in High Heels on the Rocks for years will have its affects. The truth presented in love (Eph. 4:15) will be needed to set everyone free, including you.

 2) Act, instead of reacting: God’s Word gives action steps that bring hope. Write out what scripture says about your situation. Differentiate truth from thoughts based in the pain you feel.

3) Pray, instead of panicking: In order to trust God through this process you need to pray and gain power over the enemy, who uses fear to derail us. Reacting will not produce righteous fruit.

4) Exercise faith in God: Trust involves believing God. Responding out of your flesh (feelings) will increase the confusion, which Satan loves to operate in.  God offers clarity to those who will trust Him.

5) Ask for help — this is so important! Do not try to handle the situation alone. There are plenty of resources available to you; there are caring people who can help. Start with your pastor, church leadership, or someone trained to help; they may need to become involved to enact biblical discipline. Glorifying God and freeing yourself, and those you love, are worth it.

Remember, Satan wants to destroy you, your spouse, and your children, but God wants to give you abundant life (John 10:10).  Bringing sin into the light is the first step to freedom.

[1] Taken from Stuart Scott, The Exemplary Husband (Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, Inc. 2000), 287.

To read the complete article go to: High Heels on the Rocks

Our Real Enemy

ALL Christians face spiritual warfare. Some may not be aware of who actually is opposing them, and they end up taking offense and despising the people they ought to love. If we are not wise and equipped with minds renewed daily upon God’s Word we are easy prey to our enemy’s schemes and will believe that people are our enemy. In reality, all of humankind is under the sway of this masterful deceiver[1] in some way. Satan’s purpose is ONLY to steal, kill and destroy you[2].

What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning and there’s darkness present? Perhaps a bad dream resulting from the past. Where do you think these dark feelings come from? Certainly not from your loving Father who said He would cast our forgiven sins far from us and not bring them before us again. Of course, it would be from the oppressor, the enemy, who would like to rob you of the abundant life that Jesus promises to His own.

eyes-730750__480Be sure that when you are encountering these dark moments of fear, discouragement, shame or confusion, all of this is rooted in the strategy of Satan to cause you to doubt God and live in unbelief. Recognizing this and then going to God’s Word to renew your mind, and strengthen your soul, is the proper response. What did Paul tell us we should do daily in order to equip ourselves for these attacks? Ephesians 6:11-12Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. Go on to read and study verses 14-17 to learn what the amour of God is.

When I consider how much training goes into equipping the military for earthy battles, let us consider the daily onslaught from hell that we face — it is very real. We need to be equipped and ready to recognize the battle we are in. We need to be careful not to involve ourselves in unnecessary skirmishes to the neglect of the real spiritual battle we’re in. We can be sidetracked fighting temporal situations and people, instead of the one God has declared to be our real enemy.

I Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Prayer is the needful, consistent, daily exchange between us and our Father. He desires to guide us and glorify Himself through us. To be useful in His Kingdom and overcome our enemy, we must communicate and hear from God, our Chief and Commander. A good soldier heeds what He says and does it. We must equip ourselves with spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-18) against this enemy; remember he is a subtle deceiver, not easy to recognize. Our victory against Satan is firmly planted in Christ’s victory over death, hell and the grave at Calvary; Christ earned this position for us and He is greater than our foe.

A song written by Martin Luther, almost 500 years ago, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, describes this battle. Here is verse one of this hymn. We live in a day where many people do not know these powerful songs and are missing out on the theology that has kept believers strong in faith and action. May we recognize the enemy’s craft and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
    on earth is not his equal.

[1] 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

[2] John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Paul’s new book…

A ministry in Kathmandu asked if I would travel to western Nepal to help deliver a load of Bibles to a rural community of new believers. I jumped at the opportunity, and a few days later I joined a Nepali Christian named Ramesh on a seventeen- hour bus ride to the west side of the country. It was the first stage of an arduous journey that almost ended my life.” – from Paul Hattaway’s new book An Asian Harvest.

I just read a chapter of Paul Hattaway’s newest book.  You can read the whole chapter on Asia Harvest’s website and also order the book there.

Paul includes very personal accounts of pain and sorrow he and Joy have lived through, and not always at the hands of non-christians, but within their own missionary group. We need to beware in these last days, idolatry abounds in the hearts of men who can appear to be Christian leaders, yet self-pleasure has them bound to someone other than Christ Himself. Insightful and needed in the church today.

I have been acquainted with Paul and Joy for many years, and we have developed a caring friendship.  They are precious servants upon whom God has bestowed miracles numerous times. Please keep them in your prayers — they are on the front lines of the spiritual, and sometimes physical, battle within God’s Kingdom.

Paul has written numerous books: The Heavenly Man — Brother Yun’s story, China’s Christian Martrys, The Blood & Fire Series, Operation China, Peoples of the Buddist World, and more… all great reading.