Above the fog in Northern New Mexico.
Overcoming Sins

    Please understand that this article on overcoming sin is written to the Believer who has been born again by the Spirit of God.  Although the principles are true, one needs the Spirit to make proper application of them.  Therefore, if you have not committed your life to Jesus as your Lord go HERE and do that first, then return to this article.
    I also recognize that most people won't memorize or remember all the factors concerning overcoming the sins in their lives.  Therefore, I would suggest that you stop and pray right now. Ask God to speak to you about any specific areas that you need to work on as you read through the article.  Please just check the ones that are most meaningful. When you finish reading the article, print it, and then return and work on what God spoken to you about.
    Sin is simply disobeying God.  He tell us to do something and we omit doing it or He tells us not to do something and we do it anyway.   The New Testament word for sin (hamartia) means mission the mark (target).  The reality is that we all sin from time to time.  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:10). Furthermore, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (I John 1:10).

1. Understand the principles of the "board meeting".
a. There is input from the mind, will, emotions, will, and conscience, but the will is the chairman of the board.
b. We are not to live by "will power", but we are to yield our will to His will and live by His power. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
c. See: "Factors In Decision Making".
2. Make no provision for the flesh.
a. Don't make plans to sin. "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:14).
b. Don't entertain the thought that you may need to sin.  Don't buy a gun, just in case you have to commit suicide!
3. Hide God's Word in you heart that you may not sin.
a. This is what David did.  "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11).
a. This is engrafting of Gods Word. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). This saves our mind from wrong thoughts, our will from making wrong decisions, and our emotions from being out of control.
b. Let God's Word speak to you and guide you.  "My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee" (Proverbs 6:20-22).
4. Make yourself accountable to a mature and trusted authority.
a. He is the minister of God to you. "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4). "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Hebrews 13:17).
b. He should regularly confront you face to face.
c. There is a fear of confrontation (associated with the fear of the Lord).
5. Bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
a. "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
b. This means that you must know and understand the Word.
c. "Those who leave the window open during a dust storm will get dirt in the house."
6. By faith accept God's grace to do what is right.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
a. Some think that God has placed them in a situation where they have not choice but to sin.  However, God is not an abusive Father.
b. By grace (God's ability) you are able not to sin.
7. Submit yourself to God and resist the enemy.
a. These are our two responsibilities. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
b. We must be assertive in our faith. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
8. Don't allow the enemy bring up past failures that have been confessed, forgiven, and cleansed.
a. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness " (I John 1:9). It is an accomplished fact.
b. These are covered by the blood.  "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5).
c. The enemy wants to bring false guilt and condemn you.  "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night" (Revelation 12:10).
d. If you feel condemned, you become subject to more sin. See: "Recognizing The Accuser".
9. Replace what not to do with what to do.
a. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)  Just saying no is not enough. It leaves a vacuum.
b. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
c. "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).
d. See: "Behavior Modification".
10. Don't replay old tapes of sinning for your pleasure.
a. Sin is a pleasure for a season.  "(Moses) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrew 11:25).
b. You will sin again in your mind when you do.  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee" (Proverbs 23:7).
c. You will most likely reshape the memory to forget the consequences.
11. Remember the consequences for sinning.
a. "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come" (Proverbs 26:2). There is always cause and effect.
b. "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:7).
c. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).  This is both positive and negative.
d. See: "Actions & Consequences".
12. Reckon the old sinful man crucified, dead, and buried, but the new righteous man risen and alive with Christ.
a. A dead man does not sin.  "For he that is dead is freed from sin" (Romans 6:7).  "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
b. The new man is created to do righteously.  "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  It is easier for a Believer to do right than to sin.
c. See: "How To Destory The Evil Tree".
13. Immediately get a clear conscience when you do sin.
a. His mercy is renewed every morning. "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).
b. Forgive and seek forgiveness.   "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
c. See: "Get A Clear Conscience".
14. Do counter with spiritual warfare.
a. Redirect your attention off the temptation and to God in prayer.
b. Pray for someone that is lost or in need.  "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before" (Job 42:10).  "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).
15. Recognize that you are already free in Christ.
a. You don't have to wait until you are living a perfect life.
b. The future may never come.
c. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
16. Fellowship with those that will lift you up, not with those who will pull you down.
a. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
b. "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:  Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul" (Proverbs 22:24-25).
17. Flee from the temptation to sin.
a. "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22).
b. Run, pass by, don't stop. "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:14-15).  See Psalm 1:1 ...Blessed is the man walks not with, stands not with, and sits not with those who would tempt him.
18. See yourself as God sees you in Christ.
a. Saints "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (I Corinthians 1:2). Paul wrote this to baby, carnal Believers.
b. Righteous.  "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame" (I Corinthians 15:34).  We are to awaken the the truth that in Christ we are righteous ... now don't sin.
c. See: "My Personal Confessions".
19. Ask God to reveal the root causes for your failures to sin.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:16).
a. The lust of the flesh is never satisfied.  When was the last time your ate ... you will want to eat again.
b. The lust of the eyes is never filled.  The man looking at pornography always want to see more.
c. The pride of life is never complete.  Not matter what position you have, there is always a higher one to achieve.
20. Don't look upon sin, less you follow it.
a. "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright" (Proverbs 23:31).  If you don't look at it you won't be so tempted to follow it.
b. Put blinders upon your eyes. "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).
21. Focus on the benefits of righteousness.
"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).  See: Psalm 103:1ff  There are at least twenty four benefits listed there.  We are not to forget the benefits.
a. Freedom from the consequence of sin.
b. Freedom to hear and obey God's voice and serve Him.
c. Mental, emotional, and physical healing and health.
d. Financial prosperity.
e. Spiritual maturity
22. Don't measure sin by degree or circumstance.
a. Don't compare your sin with sin of someone else.  Compared to Hitler you may look pretty good. However, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
b. Don't say, "It won't hurt this time."
c. Don't say, "I had to do it or I was forced to do it."  "Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering" (I Samuel 13:12).  This was Saul's excuse for sinning.
d. "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes"  (Song of Solomon 2:15).  The little sins eat away at your conscience  like cancer and open the door for more sin.
23. Control your tongue.
a. It is like the rudder of the ship.  It will guide your life. "Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" (James 3:4-5).
b. You may be speaking word curses over your own life.  (Self-fulfilling prophecy).  "Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth" (Proverbs 6:2).
c. See: "Speak To The Issues".
24. See temptation as an opportunity to overcome and gain a spoil and not as "mission impossible".
a. The attack of the enemy is always an opportunity to gain a benefit.  "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).  The one who conquers not only defeats the enemy, but also has the opportunity to gain a spoil. Taking A Spoil
b. Put the battle in God's hands and praise Him for the victory. Asa did this, "And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil" (II Chronicles 14:13). Jehoshaphat did this in II Chronicles 20:25 went he was attacked by three overwhelming enemies.  It took Jehoshaphat three days just to gather the spoil.
25. Recognize that the tempter often disguises himself as "self".
a. He is the deceiver.  SEE: The Deceiver   Also Revelation 12:9.
b. We may be having a dialogue thinking that it is a monologue. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11).
c. Add "... in the name of Jesus to the thought."  Example: "I am failure and depressed ... in the name of Jesus."
d. Try taking the thought and adding "to the glory of God".  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).  I am going to get even with the person who hurt me to the glory of God.
26. See God as sovereign ruler working all things together for good.
a. After Nebuchadnezzr have been insane for seven years and living in the wilderness with the wild animals he came to this truth. "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:    And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:34-35).
b. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). I pray that we all come to "know" this.
27. Be thankful that you have victory in Christ.
a. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).  What is God's will? It is to give thanks in everything.
b. Murmuring will bring the discipline of God. "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer" (I Corinthians 10:10).
c. See: "Standing In The Winner's Circle".
28. Remember that God and the saints that are in Heaven are watching and cheering for you.
a. We are sometimes like the child, playing peek-a-boo, putting our hands over our eyes and saying, "God doesn't see me."  "Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?" (Isaiah 29:15).  "Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee" (Psalm 139:12).
b.  "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrew 12:1).  These saints are in the stands of heaven and we are on the playing field.  They are watching and cheering us on saying, "You can do this by the grace of God.  Come on you can make it!"
c. This includes those Old Testament saints listed in Chapter eleven as well as Believers in this church age that are now in Heaven.  "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:17).
29. Understand that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.
a. "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13).  Do you have a sincere hatred for the sin.
b. ASK the Lord to give you a hatred of evil.
c. See that Jesus suffered on the Cross for that sin.  "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18).
30. Recognize that temptation is not sin.
a. All are tempted.  "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
b. Even Jesus was tempted.  ..."For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.?" (Hebrews 4:15).
c. If we accept the accusations of the accuser, then we are trapped.
31. Hold fast to the testimony of what God has done in your life.
a. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11). Their testimony is when their lives came in alignment with God's Word and they received God's mercy and grace.
b. "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) " (Hebrews 10:23).  My experience in general with clients is that those who write out their testimonies do well and those who don't, don't do well.
32. Learn to fear God more than to fear man.
a. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe" (Proverbs 29:25).  God has given us an approval drive, but it is to be approved of Him.  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15).
b. The fear of the Lord is knowing that there are consequences for our sins, but must be balanced with the truth that there are also rewards for our faith in God.  "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
c. See: "Approval Addiction".
33. Remember you can't do everything, only what God gives you the grace to do.
a. We all have our limitations by ability, knowledge, and position.
b. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  This only applies to what God would give us the grace to do. If God tells you to walk on water, He will give you the ability to do just that.  However, if you try to walk on water otherwise ... "Blub, blub, blub."

    Again, I remind you that these factors work only for the Believer by the grace of God through faith. If you are not a Believer, they won't work.  If you are not a Believer, today is the day to become one so that you can see God give you victory over sins. SEE: Find Life, Purpose, Joy.