Read: Romans 7:21-25 |
I admit it if no one else will, I have two opposing minds in my one body!
There, … I’ve said it, it’s out there.
I battle with the temptations of sin and the call to serve God. The greater my call to serve God, the more my opposing carnal mind tries to work to cause me to stumble and fall into sin.
For those who truly love God, they may recognize my confession is not unique to me even though that is how Satan wants me to feel. Usually, our conscience kicks in and reminds us, “Who are you to serve God and you just sinned or thought about sinning? You are not worthy to serve Him! Step back until you get cleaned up!”
If we don’t understand our position before God, through Jesus Christ, we’re likely to listen to the devil’s condemnation and become paralyzed by our shame and vulnerability. To serve God as fallen people, we must understand how our sin affects our ability to serve Him, and how we should respond when we sin.
I’ve lost my motivation to serve God because I’ve sinned
Our key verses in Romans 7:21-25 explains the core de-motivator to service – sin.
Believers hate to sin because it separates us from God and grieves the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30). We hate it because it dulls our conscience and makes us shrink from God’s presence because the guilt binds and blinds us.
Let us look briefly at Peter, to see how his sin impacted his service for God.
Peter was one of the twelve Apostles; he walked and talked with Jesus; he was called the “the Rock” by Jesus; he walked on water with Jesus. “Pete” said he never would deny Jesus. But, he did. In fact, he “re-Peted” his denial three times.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he met and spoke with his disciples and followers. Jesus found Peter fishing and talked with him. He asked Peter if he loved Him three times. In the well-known conversation, he replied each time that he Loved Jesus. Peter’s sin of denying Christ was confessed and forgiven. God restored him to service and told him to “feed His sheep”. [John 21:15-25]
God has set us free, we are no longer in bondage to sin
The freedom Christ offers is the breaking of every sin chain and the opening of every prison of evil habit. Here are some steps compiled from a few articles and books that might help you stay the course. After all, God uses cleansed sinners to serve Him as they walk in His ways.
Be honest and get your mistakes out in the open with a prayer partner. The peace we get in return for coming clean will be worth it!
Step 2: Accept God’s Forgiveness / Cleansing & Remove Objects of Temptation. [Psalm 51:1; I John 1:9]
In order to experience God’s forgiveness, we first need to believe that we are forgiven, accepted and loved unconditionally. Additionally, remove objects or things that bring about temptation.
Step 3: Request a fresh work of grace. Psalm 51:10
Ask God to “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Step 4: Resolve to use past failures for ministry. Psalm 51:13,15
David tells God, when you do this new work in me “then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Open my lips, Lord and my mouth will declare your praise. (v. 13, 15)
Step 5: Pray for limited fallout.
Pray that in His grace, God will minimize the damage our sins might have had on those around us.
Above complied from: Chip Ingram, “How to get right with God when You’ve Blown it Big-time”; Dale P. Kruse, “Don’t Let the Sins of Yesterday Keep You From Serving Jesus Today”; David Wilkerson in his book “Two of Me – The Struggle with Sin”
After falling into a sin, the most important move you ever make, as a believer, is to confess your sin and follow the above steps!
Satan is a liar and a deceiver! Don’t allow his lies to persuade you to stand on the side-line.
Stop your introspection and wallowing in the garbage dump of your sins. Stop trying to figure yourself out, and rejoice in His restoring, healing love. Instead, put on the full armor of God and get back in the game. Repent and look up to Him who loves you at all times.
For God is at work within you, helping you to “want to” obey him, and then helping you do what He wants (Philippians 2:13).
Series Outline with links:
1. Reward – Serve Him for the reward of His fellowship and presence in your life
2. Fear – Serve Him with a reverent fear and respect for His power, presence and protection
3. Duty – Serve Him dutifully; we are called to serve Him
4. Love – Serve with all your heart, soul and mind
5. Joy – Serve Him joyfully; the joy of the Lord is our strength
1. Temptation and Sin – Cannot serve Him because I’m not “holy” enough
2. Burn-out Part 1 – Cannot serve Him because I’ve lost motivation and energy
3. Burn-out Part 2 – Cannot serve Him because I need to refuel and reload
4. Rationalization – Future – Cannot serve Him because I don’t have the time, talent, treasure necessary
5. Procrastination – Future – Cannot serve Him because I’m not able to find the right opportunity and follow through
1. Discover –
A. When you fall into a sin, how long does it take you to confess it? Right away, within the hour, later in the day, the next week, whenever? Does the speed of confession differ based on the sin and why?
B. Have you ever committed a sin, prayed for forgiveness but did not forgive yourself?
Read Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.” Does that help?
2. Develop –
A. Do you have any sins that Satan tempts you with over and over again? How have you either broken the cycle or attempted to break the cycle?
B. In David Wilkerson’s book noted above, he notes that we sometimes create a totem-pole for various sins in our lives. We might place gluttony or white lies at the bottom and sexual immorality or murder at the top.
Do you look at all sin the same or do you totem-pole the sin as you look at yourself and others and find some easier to confess or forgive and others nearly impossible?
3. Demonstrate –
A. The Bible says that the child of God should, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) Just because the Bible does not specifically mention something does not mean it is not a sin. If an act even appears to be sinful, then the child of God is commanded to avoid it. God’s standard is one of purity. The genuine Christian can accept no other standard. Does knowing this expose anything you feel might need to be addressed?