by Dr. Charles Stanley
Victory is God's will for the believer's life. But sometimes we can find ourselves falling repeatedly into the same sin. As a result, our prayer life is marked by broken promises to end wrongdoing. We tell the Lord that we yearn to do what is right, but often our desire wanes when virtue is no longer convenient, pleasurable, or profitable. Many believers become angry with God for withholding victory, but sin is always our choice, not the Lord's.
If a stinging conscience and misery are the result of our decision to sin, why do we continue in wrongdoing? One reason is incomplete repentance. It is possible for us to experience grief, embarrassment, and shame over sin without being truly repentant. The reason is that penitence isn't a matter of weeping or feeling guilty; rather, true repentance is a change of mind about sin so that we agree with God's viewpoint. Then the heart turns in a new direction, opposite from persistent wrongdoing.
The second reason for failure is an inadequate view of our true identity in the Lord. The believer, as a complete child of God, has Christ living within to empower him. When we grasp this truth, we will recognize that sin does not fit who we are and will stop rationalizing our offenses. Our genuine repentance is based upon an honest understanding of our identity.
When we put these two truths together, a powerful tool against Satan and temptation is created. Our Father wants us to be victorious, and we triumph over failure when we remember that Jesus Christ is our life.