Many Christians are plagued with the problem of repeatedly committing the same kind of sin. Many have prayed so many times and fasted so many times, all to no avail. Although prayer and fasting strengthen a Christian, they alone are not the only ingredient needed in maintaining a righteous life or overcoming temptation. It should be noted that the devil tested Jesus after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights. What weapon did Jesus use in overcoming the devil? It was the Word of God. Psalm 119: 11 states that “thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”. (KJV)
Rom. 12:2 states “and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. The secret to stopping sinning is the maintenance of a renewed mind. This renewal comes from the Word of God. Have you ever noticed how poised you get not to sin against God again after studying or hearing the Word of God? But then somehow you later find that this zeal dies down and the old sin repeats itself. This point is clearly illustrated by the “parable of the sower” in which Jesus described various scenarios of what happened after people had heard the Word of God. You may pray and fast, but if your mind is not properly fortified, the devil will be able to convince you easily to commit the same sin repeatedly.
So one may ask, how do we maintain this renewed mind which is so poised not to sin against God and resolute to live righteously? In Joshua 1:8 it is stated, "this book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”. (KJV) By constantly meditating or thinking about God’s Word and what it implies in our lives, especially verses about sin and it’s effects, we will be able to maintain a renewed mind.
Most Christians commit the same sin repeatedly because the devil is able to tempt them while they are unprepared or unalert for that temptation. The strategy is to find Biblical verses which deal with the sin being committed repeatedly and memorize them. You then meditate on them from time to time (at least thrice daily). During those meditations, imagine yourself being presented with that sin and then refute it with the Word of God you have memorized. This practice, if maintained continually would build in one the habit of meditating on God’s Word and open him or her up to understand how God’s Word really applies to him or her. Prayer and fasting too are very important as they strengthen one spiritually and enable one to pay attention to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, especially concerning the sin at hand.
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