Take lust for instance. How does one overcome lust for a woman? Well, we don't exactly overcome it, but we can fight it with the truth. Lust is based on infatuation, which is based in fantasy made alive through a physical reaction and feeling in the solar plexus.
Our psycho-emotional response is a God given, natural response to a woman, meant to help us in a marriage situation. However, a man can illicit this response artificially through his imagination, often with the aid of pictures. Lust becomes a problem for a man when he craves the feeling he gets, while at the same time feeling guilty, alienation, and self loathing. To avoid the guilt feeling, and the sense of self-loathing, the man will bring on an other imaginary session, which begins a cycle of pleasure, guilt, self-loathing, and pleasure.
In order to fight this kind of addiction the man must break the cycle at the point where he would normally allow his fantasies to illicit his pleasure. He starts with the truth that the woman of his fantasy is not real, whether the woman is the figment of his imagination or a picture of a woman. In order to break the chain, he must realize that the woman in the picture is fictional woman, being portrayed by a real woman, with actual feelings, dreams, hopes, preferences of her own. She doesn't really want to be with the man. He just allowed himself to imagine she did. She doesn't care about him at all. It's all for show. Her picture isn't even real as the picture has been airbrushed and touched up to look good. To fight lust, the man must not indulge his fantasies or escape into his fictional world, but face the truth about himself and about the woman.
Fantasy is the enemy of faith, when it comes to lust. Fantasy pulls the man into his head where the woman can be anything he wants her to be, where she never complains, never argues, never has needs, or places restrictions on him at all. Faith, on the other hand, faces the truth, sees himself as he is, cries out to God for mercy, sees the woman as she really is, or at least knows that the woman in the picture is just a two dimensional fiction. The real woman behind the picture has a real name, a real family, real bills, real cares, real problems, and could care less about the man.
When a man faces the truth and denies his fantasy life he suddenly feels like he is going to die like a drug addict looking for his next fix. Going without the fantasy feels like going without food or air. Faith believes and trusts that denial of fantasy and pleasure will not kill him. He knows that even though his body tells him otherwise.
To overcome sin, find the truth you deny and face the truth and the truth will set you free.
Actually, I just believe Jesus & carry a heart of compassion & love for others Sin has no place there, so I don't have to make up fruitless ways to avoid it.
Well, we can get into a lot of whatever but truth time. How does one stop stealing? Paul didn't tell them to search their soul and deal with the hurt of when they were a young man and their daddy yelled at them a lot. He told them "if you steal... steal no longer. Geeze guys... that ain't complicated. If you have a problem with porn... unplug your silly computer and throw the thing out the door. Keep no money so that you can't buy it if that turns into a problem. Get the television out of your house and your face in the Book and wear your knees out in prayer. You will overcome. Here is what I promise you... keep that crap in your home and you will never overcome because you're too ignorant to get rid of the very things that tempt you the most. If you have a problem with fornicating... stay home and in the book and on your knees instead of hanging with the girls that trip your trigger. Why in the world do we have to complicate this? It is simple... knock it off.
No wonder folks "struggle" with sin. They are too busy trying to find an inner reason and for the life of me... why? Ultimately it is simply to have a blame for the behavior. All the time the answer is in Scripture. If you __________ (fill in the sin), ______________ (repeat) no longer.
In reality, I think there is something less ritualistic going on when a person overcomes sin. When a person is able to overcome a stronghold there is something going on behind the scenes that often gets left out of the equation. In other words, I think the church has a huge problem these days of thinking about Jesus as some religious figurehead rather than an active Intercessor and Mediator on our behalf. It's not so much about methodology and more about relationship. If a person is seeking a book rather than a person, overcoming sin is still going to be difficult.
"What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."
-- Dr. Neil T. Anderson
I told the youth at church... it's really simple. You don't walk down the hallway at school, slip, trip and accidentally start to fornicate. It is a process that you go through and at any time... you could simply stop. Depending on where you went... you well may need to do some repenting... but you can stop and actually repent before going totally stupid. If a person is cocentrating on what is pure, lovely, of good report, etc.... they aren't doing stuff they ought not. If one is praising God and in worship to the creator of all... they ain't looking at the latest porn site doing who knows what with members of their body. If one is reading the Word of God, they ain't thumbing through the latest issue of Penthouse or whatever is out there today. Face it... we very much overly complicate it because of pshycology today (which has overrun the pulpit) and we've turned it into understanding man instead of understanding God and the power He has given us to very much overcome sin.
Hmmm...just a question...Does our ability to overcome our sins cleanse us from all sin? Not saying we should not work hard to keep ourselves from sinning, just wondering how my ability to overcome my sins can redeem me? Perhaps this is not what is being said, but it seems what is implied??? I could be 100% without sin, but what will I have attained through my great perfection? Is my redemption NOT dependent upon the perfect sinlessness of Christ alone?
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