I think we all understand the temptation to sin. We understand that there is a devil that temps us, that we have sinful flesh, and that the world is also tempting us. But what is really difficult to understand is why we give into temptation when we know how destructive it is to our body and to our relationship with God and Christ.
So why do we continue to do things that we know are wrong and destructive to us? Why do we continue to do things that are irrational and insane? And after we do those things we always say in retrospect, why did I do that? That was dumb. I really didn’t want to do that. That’s just not me.
And it’s true. If a person is a Christian, he or she absolutely does not want to sin—because a Christian person has been given a new Christ-like nature. And even though he or she still has their sinful flesh and a sinful nature, their new nature is dominant and they walk in the light as Christ does.
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
So what happens? Why does a Christian who lives in the light and has a dominant new nature give into sinful temptation time and time again? (Yes, even a Christian may have some habitual sins he is not proud of.)
Well, I think it has a lot to do with the power of darkness that occasionally and temporarily overcomes us. We know that a Christian does not walk in darkness; he walks in the light. However, I think that when he is tempted to sin and decides to give into that sin just a little, that is when spiritual darkness will creep in and do much damage to our heart and mind. It will cause us to not see things as they are—to be blinded to the truth. It will cause us to only see the pleasure of sin; it will cause us to shut off the thought of sin’s consequences.
So how do we get rid of the sin and darkness that overcomes us? Here are 3 ways:
1. Understand what spiritual darkness is. Spiritual darkness is a place or a spiritual realm where demons may dwell and where unconfessed sins are stored and hidden. Hence, the darkness conceals sins that we would rather not confess. Moreover, this place, or places of darkness in the mind is where truth is blocked out. It is an evil stronghold. And the more sins one choses to hide there, the stronger the stronghold becomes (read 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 10:4-5).
2. Understand how it traps us and overcomes us. We are trapped by sin and darkness when we are not prayerful and are not abiding in the word; for when that happens we become spiritually sleepy and lazy and we give the devil and sin an opportunity to creep up on us and take us off guard (1 Thess. 5:4-6).
Also, when we mistakenly participate with the world in sinful activities, this is unpleasing to the Lord and if it is not immediately forsaken will work in your mind to build up a dark and evil stronghold.
3. Take these four positive steps. First of all, you should confess and forsake all unconfessed sins and all open avenues to sin. Clean out and be rid of all materials and all activities that would cause you to sin. Secondly, begin meditating and memorizing scripture verses that God puts before you that you think would help you. I do this a lot myself. I have a box of verses I review daily next to my bed, and a few blank cards that I write new verse on. Third, if you are not already, become active in church and a small group or bible study. We all need constant fellowship and Christian companionship. Last, develop a regular habit of prayer every day. Pray over every sin problem and over every trouble you have. Give everything to God. Trust Him with everything. Pray also for others and trust God for them.
Soon, as you do these things, you will experience victory over sin and the darkness will turn to light.