Stop! Turn Around
Have you ever gotten yourself into a sinful situation and felt there is no way out? You should have known better than to get involved with an unbeliever. You've picked up an old addiction again. You failed at remaining sexually pure. Didn't the very fact that you accepted Jesus Christ into your life mean that you would not be subject to those temptations again? How did this happen?
One of the biggest mistakes Christians make in the area of temptation is thinking that they are able to live "in control" of their behavior. Christians are subject to the same temptations as anyone. Jesus told Peter, in the garden of Gethsemane, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mat. 6:41) When you are happily married and think that a little office flirting is harmless, take heed. When a recovering alcoholic, who has been sober for 10 years, thinks he can handle a little glass of wine at a company Christmas party, be careful. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10) When you think you can wait until marriage to be intimate, and you find yourself in a position of compromise, beware! Satan is always waiting in the wings to tempt God's children. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet. 5:8)
The Bible warns us about pride - believing we have it all under control - "let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (1 Cor. 10:12) "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18) If you have found yourself out of control, in a sinful situation, and you feel that you've gone too far to come back... STOP! When you've crossed the line of temptation, don't keep going - come back! The worst thing you can do is to keep going, thinking you've gone so far that God cannot forgive you. "Well, I've gone this far, I might as well go all the way." Sin is destructive to your body, mind, and spirit. The further you dive into it, the harder it is to hear the Holy Spirit's conviction. Fellowship with God is broken, your prayers become hindered, and in the worst case, God can turn your mind over to the powers of darkness to have their way. "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." (Rom. 1:28)
If you are in a sinful situation, while it is still possible for you to hear the Holy Spirit, make the decision to come back into fellowship with God (2 Chron. 7:14):
Step 1: "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves," - God is calling out to the believer to humble himself. Admit to yourself and to God that you are sinning and that you need His help to overcome it.
Step 2: "and pray and seek My face," - get on your knees before God and pray. Seek His answer to your problem. Ask for His divine intervention and for His will to be done in your life.
Step 3: "and turn from their wicked ways," - stop sin dead in its tracks! Refuse to go any further into your sinful behavior. Do not only stop, but turn 180 degrees from your sin and start walking in the opposite direction. Choose obedience to God above all else.
Step 4: "then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." After you do steps 1-3, God will hear your heart's cry and will forgive your sin. He will restore your life to the path He intended. This is a promise from God.
Although we have this promise to pull us out of the miry clay, it is wise to be on the lookout for Satan's stumbling blocks. Even after we are saved, Jesus still tells us to pray, "...do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one." (Mat. 6:13)
The bad news is that Satan is out to destroy us until the day we go to be with the Lord. But the good news is that, through Christ, all things are possible. He is our Strength, our Fortress, our Protector, and our Savior. He is with us always and wants us to call on Him in times of need. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor. 10:13)
Prayer for deliverance from sin: Lord, I humble myself before you. I acknowledge You are God. I have fallen into sin and I repent for my behavior. I am seeking Your face and Your holy presence in my life. I need You. Because I love You, I walk away from the sin of ____________. I thank You for your forgiveness and for the restoration that will take place in my life. To God be the glory, forever. Amen
Copyright 2005 From My Heart To Yours