One of the best ways to overcome sin is to understand how it begins. In this post, let me share with you how sin starts and the one important technique to keep it from coming back!
The lady and her pet snake
There was a lady who had a snake as a pet. At first, the snake was just small until it grew into a full adult. The lady loved the snake and would even allow it to sleep with her in the bed. One day, the snake stopped eating. The lady was worried about her pet snake and brought it to the vet.
After examining the snake, the vet came to a shocking conclusion. The vet said, “The snake is intentionally starving itself and is sizing you up. It is preparing to eat you alive.”
The danger of nourishing our sins
I want to use this story to illustrate how sin can slowly kill us. In this story, the snake represents our sins.
My question for you now is, “Have you grown too comfortable living and sleeping with your sin that you don’t see the need to get rid of them anymore?”
There’s a great danger in harboring sins in our lives. We need to realize that sin begets sin. It means that a small sin can lead to another sin and another and another until it brings forth bigger problems that we can’t handle anymore.
Let’s read James 1:13:
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Take for example the story of David and Bathsheba. David, who is the ruler of the nation of Israel, can’t even rule over his desires. David could not contain his desire for women. At first, he was just thinking and fantasizing about it. However, this desire grew stronger and stronger to the point that when he saw Bathsheba, he acted upon his desire.
He then committed one of the biggest sins in his life that would forever be recorded in the Bible. After committing adultery, did he asked for forgiveness? Was he repentant? No. Instead, he committed another sin to cover up his previous sin. He planned to have Bathsheba’s husband killed and succeeded in it.
This is a classic example of how sin can eat us alive. As you can see, sin can lead to another sin. Just like the snake in our story earlier, if we keep on feeding it, it will grow and eventually lead to our physical and spiritual death.
[Featured article: 10 Practical Points to Powerfully Overcome Sin]
How sin starts
In this point, I want us to think about the sins we reluctantly get rid in our lives. What could be the sins that you welcome in your bedroom? What could be the sins we are probably nourishing and simply ignoring?
Could it be sinful desires? Could it be envy? Evil speaking? Sabbath compromise? Not faithfully giving our tithes? Lying? Secretly hating our brothers and sisters?
You see brethren, sin starts with the mind. Having a desire for things is not a sin of itself. If you desire a house, car, a new smartphone, a beautiful wife or handsome husband, and delicious food, those are not sin because a desire is only natural.
However, uncontrolled desires could lead to sin. James, properly known as Jacob, tells us that temptation happens when we are drawn away, meaning, the force is too strong that we simply follow it. Committing sin is completely opposite to becoming holy.
When we seek holiness, we forsake what is evil and cleave to what is good. However, when we sin, we forsake what is good and cleave to evil.
Once our desire becomes evil already, James tells us, we became enticed – meaning, we are trapped. As you can see, it becomes a slippery road from there. It is difficult now to get back on our feet and climb back up to our ground of holiness. Now, I’m not saying it is impossible, but it would be difficult.
Using our weapons of warfare
So, what must we do? Since sin naturally starts in the mind, the Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 10:3-5:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY IN GOD for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Our weapons are not carnal. It means that we don’t rely on ourselves – our intellect, abilities, wealth, position, or beauty. Paul tells us that our weapon is mighty in God. We draw our strength from our Heavenly Father because if we only rely on ourselves, we will utterly fail.
And what can our weapon achieve? It pulls down strongholds. Sometimes, because we’ve been nourishing our sins for too long and we have been indulging in it for many years, it becomes a stronghold. It becomes like a fortified city that is too difficult to conquer. Like the snake in our story, we have grown to love it and we don’t see any need to change.
But our weapon is not weak. It does not just kill small sins, but also the big ones. It can definitely destroy any fortified sin as long as we draw our strength from God.
Cutting sin from its roots
Now, here’s the great antidote for sin. We must attack it in its roots. If we simply cut down sin, like stubborn grass in our backyard, it will just grow back again. But in Paul’s writing, we read what we must do.
It says, “Bringing every thought into CAPTIVITY to the obedience of Christ.” After we destroy the strongholds of sin, we must then do the necessary step to prevent sin from coming back and that is to bring every thought – not just a few – but every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Since sin starts in the mind, our overcoming starts in the mind. If we are able to stop sin from there, we can surely stop sin from increasing and avoid the many deadly effects it produces.
Make a decision today to stop sinning
So, brethren, what are the sins that we still sleep with? What are the sins that we still feed and nourish? What are the sins we don’t want to get rid of?
I hope we make the decision to overcome them now because the hard truth brethren is that there will come a time when it will be too late. Before we know it, we are already trapped and death is staring us in the face.
I believe there’s no better way to finish this blog post than by quoting Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I hope we see the need to overcome our sin while it is still small. Let us not wait until it gets big and swallow as a whole. Most importantly, let us draw our strength from our Heavenly Father to become a more zealous and committed child of God.