December 2

An End to Habitual Sin

Ephesians 6:10-11

Satan looks for weak spots in a believer's life where he can set up a stronghold. Once his fortress is established, he knows that the person will justify it, defend it, and keep adding bricks to it, one sin at a time. The appeal can be so strong that we return to a habitual sin even after confessing before God. Satan whispers, "One more time won't hurt," and we fall to temptation again.

Just as in medieval times when armies warred over high rock fortresses, a sin stronghold is usually the ground for a skirmish. We might expect the fight to be primarily between God and Satan, but that's not the case—the Lord can knock down the Devil's walls instantly. Instead, the struggle goes on within our spirit: Do we want God to break our habit or not?

Giving up habitual sin is hard. The sinner finds comfort, pleasure, and/or satisfaction in the practice. Hot on the heels of those emotions, however, are guilt, shame, and despair, which drive a person to plead for help. But holy God cannot cleanse unrighteousness until people genuinely repent. True repentance means that a believer sees a sin for the wickedness that it is and turns his back on it. And we turn away as often as it takes—one time, a hundred times, or every single day for the rest of our lives.

Just thinking about giving up a sinful habit brings some people to the brink of despair. They want to be free of a stronghold, but the thought of resisting temptation makes them feel weak. Here is good news: the Holy Spirit's power is enough to enable any believer to walk away. That includes you.   

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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.