Bible Stuff That Won't Bore You

When battling sin, the first mile is always the toughest, but do not give up, it gets easier!

As we journey towards righteousness, it sometimes feels hopeless, difficult, and can seemingly take forever, causing many to lose heart or feel like they are not good enough for God. Be encouraged however, the first mile is always the toughest, and it gets a lot easier over time!

The Battle Every Christian Faces

Sometimes, the war against sin can feel tremendously difficult, and in some cases, it might even feel impossible to win, especially as we learn just how high God’s standards are for righteousness–which are the same holy standards we are commanded to strive for ourselves

1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy”

Even though God’s standards are high, he gave us the tools to achieve them, by revealing his will through the influence of his spirit inside of us, which is the real meaning of grace as previously discussed, ie: “Through favor, receiving God’s divine influence on the heart”

(For more details on the meaning of grace check this article out:

Not only do we receive God’s spirit to guide us towards righteousness, but he also promises we will not be tempted beyond what we can resist–this is an amazingly empowering concept, as sin has no power over us unless we listen to, or act on, temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it

However, as we work towards God’s standards of love and righteousness, regardless of whether we are new or long-standing Christians, it is important to understand there are two categories individual sins fall into:

1) Sins we willingly want to let go of

2) Sins we find desirable, and struggle to let go of

James 1:14
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed

The truth, is we are either actively fighting against things we want to remove from our lives or we are stalling/procrastinating/holding on to sins we do not want to let go of yet

Within both of these scenarios, the ability to let things go revolves around whether we are sincere in our relationship with God, as we should be eager to seek his will, regardless of whatever benefit, desire, enjoyment, etc… we find in sinful, worldly ways

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him

Of course, the process to let go of sins we desire is not easy, but the key is to not only understand how God wants us to live, but to find his righteousness more appealing than the sin we are leaving behind, which not only requires a desire to live a holy life, but for us to actually act on our trust that God’s will is more beneficial to us than our own–knowing what we should do, and actually doing it, are two very separate things

James 4:17
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins

Learning To Approve Of God’s Will Is The Key To Overcoming Sin

The idea of approving God’s will may sound weird at first, stay with me though!

When we first become Christians, no matter how good we thought we were before we came to know God, we are presented with a different level of righteousness than we had previously known, ie: God’s supernatural love and holiness

Christians are not only introduced to God’s standards, we are commanded to model ourselves after them, as we are not asked to live righteously when we feel like it or when it is convenient, we are told to completely obey as a reflection of our love for God

John 14:15
If you love me, you will obey what I command

1 John 5:3-4
This is love for God: to obey his commands.And his commands are not burdensome,for everyone born of Godovercomes the world

Despite all the praise we sing, and our good intentions, we know “[overcoming] the world” is not an overnight process, as when we become Christians, that is just the start of our journey, it is not the end state, as it takes a lot of work to get rid of our old ways, as we often still find them appealing, sometimes long after coming to know Jesus

With this in mind, we should remember our goal is to find God’s will more appealing than anything the world has to offer

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

Okay, wait, stop and think about that for a moment

God does not want us to just blindly obey, but to live righteously because we “approve what God’s will is”, not just follow rules because we are supposed to, there is no love for God reflected in that–God wants us to find his character pleasing, not regard his guidance as a formula to try and follow like a mindless robot

Once we start to be “transformed” in God’s likeness as Paul mentions above, we no longer desire things of the world, but hunger for God, growing increasingly mature, shedding our old ways of thinking–this does not happen when we continually resist God’s will, it only happens when we humbly submit ourselves to him instead of resisting his guidance towards righteousness

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me

Romans 8:5
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires

1 Peter 5:5-7
All of you, clothe yourselves with humilitytoward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.Cast all your anxiety on himbecause he cares for you

James 4:6-10
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts,you double-minded.Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up

The First Mile Is Always The Hardest, Just Do Not Give Up

Okay, this insight is great and all, but the reality is, as we all know, fighting these battles, due to the choices we make, can be incredibly difficult, to the point where the enemy tries to make us feel like failures, unworthy of God’s love or forgiveness

However, despite our regrettable decisions along the way, once we sincerely humble ourselves before God and follow his guidance, the battle against sin gets much easier for one simple reason: our taste for sin dissolves, and we start to hunger for God in ways that leave no room for sin

To be completely honest, this process is not easy, as, at the start of the journey, we may still desire sin, and resisting it may even feel painful, but we just need to press on knowing Jesus died to give us freedom from sin–true freedom is something we need to work towards though, it is not an automatic process!

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery

Think of it like this, when we exercise for the first time in a while, it can be painful, annoying, and something we dread doing, but after continuing for a few weeks, we start to see real results and feel inspired to keep exercising, eventually changing our lifestyle to accommodate our exercise routine, rather than look at exercise as if it were a chore

In this same way, as we grow increasingly mature, we desire to be closer to God more each day, and without a doubt, the first steps to get there can be challenging and require us to step outside our comfort zone–changing our lives when we do not want to is rarely comfortable, and sometimes it is uncomfortable even when we truly want to!

When we honor our relationship with God as the most important thing in our lives, no longer treating it as an afterthought, we notice a shift in our lives when we start *wanting* to read the Bible more, we let go of sinful ways without a struggle, desire to listen to Christian music more than non-Christian music, start attending Bible studies, find charitable things to do with our time and money, etc…, all things that may have previously seemed like duties or chores rather than things we genuinely wanted to do

I can say with all sincerity, that the battle against sin gets easier once we push past that first mile, as when our appetites start to shift towards godly things, we lose our desire for the world, we just have to push ourselves to really live for him, not just talk a good game and wear the label

We are instructed to love God with all our heart, so we should not be surprised if our relationship is unfulfilling when we are holding back and not completely giving ourselves to him

Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength

In my life, some of the most difficult challenges I ever faced were sins that I just did not want to let go of, especially in the areas of drugs, non-Christian relationships, porn, and non-Christian music

Over the course of decades, these were not just things I turned to occasionally, they were major strongholds, and even though I fought against them constantly, I never overcame them because the truth was, I just did not want to

In order for me to let the worst of these issues go, I started to focus on how much my sins hurt God’s feelings, as they contradicted his righteous character, and were a major reason I was not as intimate with him as I wanted to be

Over time, I began to resist temptation by forcing myself to be logical, reminding myself of all the things God had done for me, how much I did not want to hurt him, and compared how God’s righteousness always led me to good places versus how sin led me to bad ones

Thinking this way helped me value God’s feelings more than I cared about listening to temptations, and I grew so close to God I would not even dream of faltering–not an easy or overnight process

To apply this in your own life, try this exercise, the next time you feel something sinful trying to pull you in, think to yourself:

“If I do this, it will hurt God’s feelings, and I know I will regret doing it anyway, so why bother?”

I know this sounds ridiculously easy but it can be quite difficult at first–it becomes easy with practice though!

If you follow these steps a few times, you will quickly find yourself in a place where you will either rationally choose to honor God or reject him, instead of being caught up in the desires and emotions that typically remove rational thought and drive us to sin–I guarantee if you reject God rationally after thinking about it like I mentioned above, you will feel awful, like, really awful, and think twice before doing something sinful again

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