The fight against sin is a life-long task. It’s not easy and, at times, can be especially painful. This calls for long-term strategies and persevering commitment. And there are amazing works that deal more extensively with sin and holiness (like this one). But sometimes we can find ourselves in a spiritual quagmire and just need a boost to get us out of the mud so we can think clearly and get back in the fight. If this is you, try these four suggestions.
1. Get Some Rest
We can’t just worried about our spirits. Being made with body and soul, we have to think of both because both affect each other. Being tired makes us less sensitive to the Spirit and more easily tempted to sin. Just think about how often you’ve said something like, “Sorry I’m so crabby. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.” Let’s be clear: that may be an explanation but it’s not a valid excuse. Get some rest and you will be better ready to say “no” to sin.
2. Determine Satan’s Plan for You
We are creatures of habit. Others can see it, including Satan. He knows when we’re most easily tempted and the kinds of things that we are weakest at resisting. He is a being who schemes and plans to tempt us to sin (2 Cor 2:11) and our habitual natures often betray us. So, take a few minutes and think about your most common sins. Where are you? Who are you with? What time of day is it? Discern Satan’s battle-plan so you can mount a good counter-offensive. This begins with intentionally changing our patterns of life that easily lead to sin.
3. Ask for Help
God has given us the Church as a gift of his grace. God expects the fight against sin will be a group-effort and has appropriately equipped other Christians to help us (1 Thess 5:17; Heb 10:24-2). So, ask for help! Don’t let your pride get in the way. Find a believer or pastor with whom you can confess your sin and be encouraged to greater godliness.
4. Remember the Basics
Communion with God through Scripture and prayer are the easiest, best defenses for our hearts. But they are so often taken for granted. Start afresh today, opening the Word to hear God speak and bringing your concerns to him in prayer. This is God’s design for fostering communion with him, which will lead to joyful, fruitful, God-glorifying lives (John 15:1-11).
These are not the only ways to fight sin. But doing these things will help get you back in the fight if you’ve grown comfortable with sin and find yourself far from God.