The enemy will frequently tell you that you are not worthy of being a Christian. Never go for the bait because what he wants you to do at that moment is to begin to justify yourself. The minute you start listing off all your good qualities and victories over sin, he will have you right where he wants you.
If you are a Christian, you battle with sin. I do not need to list examples of the struggles with the flesh you may have. The minute you read the title of this post, you most likely had a specific battle in mind. You have within you both flesh and Spirit, and the two are contrary to one another. However, knowing this does not mean the fight will be easy or that you have it all under control. Here are five truths about your battle with sin you hate to admit, followed by three points of encouragement.
1. Some battle scars are more recent than you are comfortable acknowledging.
As Christians, we are quick to acknowledge our struggles with sin, but we prefer to talk about past battles—the ones where we have seen significant victory. The problem is, you have recent battle wounds as well. The fact that the struggle is ongoing is not something you like to broadcast to the world.
2. You sometimes try to get as close to the flame as possible without getting burned.
No matter how much you despise the sin that so easily besets you, you still find yourself wanting to get as close to the fire as possible. You think, “I will only allow myself this much room and will draw the line here.” The problem is that every time you get close to the line, it seems to move just a little further. This tendency to push boundaries has left you beating yourself up over going too far on more than one occasion.
3. You sometimes wonder why you desire the very thing you despise.
Every time the deceitfulness of sin deceives you, you wonder how, at times, you desire the very thing you hate. Like Paul, you cry out, “who will save me from this body of death?” Even when you want to do right, evil is close at hand. You know that the problem with temptation is you because deep down, you still have desires that war against your soul.
4. When it comes to your growth in godliness, you thought you would be further along than you are now.
You often think back to the many times you swore it was the last time, and you set out to grow in godliness. If you have been a Christian for a long time now, you remember looking forward to this time in your life with great anticipation. You imagined you would have experienced greater sanctification than you have.