How not to sin

I hate being stuck in the same old position.  You know the one I'm talking about.  Where you know what is right and honoring to God, yet you find yourself stuck in that repetitive pattern of "habitual" sin that has plagued you for your entire life. 

Why is it so hard to just say "no" to sin?  Sure, we can avoid the "big" ones without much difficulty, you know like murdering, adultery, kidnapping, knocking off banks, stuff like that.  But it's the sins that the world puts a smaller price tag on that chip away at our spiritual foundations, pushing us farther away from God and into a spiral of frustration and guilt.

The Bible is full of truths when it comes to the nature and effects of sin.  We are born into sin yet we are offered grace through Jesus Christ that has defeated sin and brings us new life.  Paul tells us that we are dead to sin and alive to Christ (Romans 6:2,11), therefore the yoke of sin is effectively removed from those who are in Christ.  This is the greatest news of all!  Yet, if you are like me, here you sit still struggling with sin that you are desperate to rid yourself of once and for all.

So what is the solution to move beyond the sin that so easily ensnares us?  Is there a secret formula somewhere that we've forgotten about that will carry us beyond our daily struggles with sin and deeper into the arms of God's grace?  Yes, there is a way, but it's no secret and I'm going to tell you what it is. Are you ready?  Here goes:
Love God more than you love sin.
There it is.  If I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and focus all of my affections on Him, then sin will have less room in my life to operate.  When we set our affections on worldly things, then sin is sure to follow.  If your love for status, success, things, relationships, money, etc., drive you, then your love for God will wain and sin will find your heart a more suitable home.  

This is not a foreign concept for most of us, this staying on target and focusing on what's important.  As a parent, I steer my kids to concentrate on the task at hand when they are completing their homework.  At work, you know that the project will not be completed if you are distracted so you block everything else out so that you can finish on time.  When you took your driver's license test, how often did you fiddle with the radio knob or talk on our cell phone during the test?  None at all!  Instead, you gripped the wheel at 10:00 and 2:00 and kept your eyes on the road, focusing on what lay ahead in hopes that the gentleman sitting beside you would give you a passing grade and that coveted piece of plastic for your wallet.

Whatever we channel our affections and desires upon is what we will follow.  Maybe you aren't intentionally seeking to stumble into sin, but if you find yourself in a pattern of straying from the heart of God then perhaps it is time to recognize the direction you are not walking in and turn around.  I don't know one follower of Christ who revels in his or her sinful choices, but I know plenty who stay mired in place and feel as if there is no hope for defeating the flesh in this world.  When your desire to not sin is rooted in anything other than your love for God, you will continue in your struggles.

The good news for us is that sin has already been defeated.  It no longer has the ability to control us beyond the power that we give to it.  We must love God more than the sin that seeks to render us spiritually inert, for it is then that we will realize the full extent of God's grace that He has lavished on those who love Him.  When you love God with everything that you have, you will find that your heart and mind and soul will desire Him even more, leaving you little room to entertain those things that only lead to stumbling.

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