(Photo: Dan Delzell)
What is your biggest area of weakness and temptation? The only way to experience victory in Jesus over that sin is to own it and rise above it by God's grace. You can do it, but you first must believe that God can free you from the chains of that thing which pull at you day after day.
If you are an unbeliever and have not yet accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, my advice to you my friend is to own your unbelief and rise above it. Jesus has risen from the grave. You will never rise up in faith until you "own" your unbelief and confess that sin to God. As long as you coddle your unbelief, you will never rise up in victory over the damning transgression of rejecting Christ.
If you are a believer and are struggling with the same sin over and over again, you first must own it and admit to God and yourself that you alone are responsible for your sinful choices. It's not someone else's fault that you are choosing to give into temptation time and time again. Own it and rise above it as you rely upon Christ to empower you to walk in the light.
Try praying this prayer: "Lord Jesus, I admit to you that I am the guilty one. It is my fault. I have chosen to give into temptation and sin. My thoughts and my behavior in this area are completely wrong and sinful. I choose to own it today Lord. I alone am responsible for this ongoing issue. Wash me with the blood which you shed for me on the cross. Raise me up in forgiveness and power through the working of the Holy Spirit. Help me to gain victory over my sinful habit as I seek to live each moment in your presence. As I pray and read your Word daily, be my strength against my adversary. In Jesus' name. Amen."
If you have not found victory yet in your area of greatest weakness, it is likely that you have not yet owned your sin. A person must come to a place of conviction, contrition, and repentance. That is a work of God in the heart of man. It happens as we call a spade a spade. We don't sugarcoat it. We don't make any more excuses. We don't point the finger at someone else. God's Word points the finger at us. God wants to take us from conviction to confession to resurrection.
Your most persistent sin is one of your greatest enemies. It is OK with God for you to hate that enemy. In fact, the Bible instructs us to do so. "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9) Without a holy hatred for sin and a God-given love for righteousness, we will go through life with only the window trimmings of religion but not the real deal. Jesus put it this way: "You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." (Matthew 23:27) Looks like some folks in Jesus' day were refusing to own it and rise above it.
Even if you have been defeated by your predilection hundreds of times, don't give up! You may be very close to kicking your bad habit once and for all. It is easy for you to believe that you will never be free. The truth is that if you are born again through faith in Christ, you are already free. You just have not been walking in that freedom whenever you have been feeding the desires of your sinful nature. It is a common problem for believers, but those defeats do not have to fill the remaining chapters of your life on earth.
God wants to write a new chapter for your life right now. It begins in this moment. Embrace the freedom which is yours in Christ. This is what God's Word tells believers: "Though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." (Romans 6:17,18) Did you catch that believer? You are free! Now just start living like it!
If the devil can convince you that you will always be defeated by your persistent sin, then you most likely will be. The freedom must begin in your mind before it translates to your behavior. You have got to own it and rise above it. You can do it because Jesus lives inside of you. That doesn't mean you will be perfect. What it does mean is that you will begin scoring victories in that area of your Christian life where previously you had experienced mostly defeat.
Do you want to walk closer to Christ without always getting tripped up by this oppressive sin in your life? If you want it....and if you rely upon the grace of Christ, you can have your feet set on a firm foundation as you begin to say "no" to that desire. The Bible says the grace of God "teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." (Titus 2:12) Are you a good learner in your walk with Christ?
It is time my friend. Your past mistakes and transgressions do not have to define who you are today...unless you want them to. Look your enemy in the face. That sin belongs to you in all of its ugliness. Own it. Rise above it in the resurrections power of Christ. Then go forth to live a new life of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Fly like an eagle and soar above those old habits. The real you is who you want to be in Christ. So who do you want to be?
The transforming power for life change is already within you if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. In that case, Jesus lives in your heart and He will fight your battles for you. Do you believe He is strong enough not only to save your soul, but also to defeat your oppressor in your area of greatest weakness? You won't receive it if you don't believe it.
Anyone who says the Christian life is boring has never seriously fought against his own sinful inclinations. It is extremely easy to criticize Christians....until you actually become one. That's when you discover that your biggest obstacle to spiritual growth is you. At that point, you can own it.....or keep living in denial. Unfortunately, some people don't want to rise above their sinful tendencies. To each his own. The Christian life isn't for everyone, but then again, neither is heaven.