Lie 4: Sin Can Be Conquered by Effort

(A series on lies sin tells us to tempt us and trick us. Submit by October 30th if you want to be featured in a guest post exposing sin’s lies to God’s Word in this 8 part series)

We’d like to believe sin can be conquered by our efforts. The enemy of our souls takes advantage of our desire to be victors, presenting us with the lie:

You can defeat sin if you try hard enough.

Wrong. Christ already defeated sin.

We are just responsible for resisting the sore loser roaming the battlefield, picking the lesser fights he can still win.

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The sore loser tries to win his little games by tempting us to use just our own weaponry. He challenges us about our own skills, distracting us from reliance on the One who has already beat him.

Case Study: Insecurity

Insecurity can be a sin when it dismisses God’s handiwork. Insecurity also seems like something we ought to tackle on our own. We think if we change our outlook, we’ll stop sinning against God wit hour insecurity.

Changing our outlook by effort alone is futile. How can we overcome insecurity if all the methods we go through use our own insecurities? Self-help books and compliments from other people only do so much.

Our behavior might shift, but our hearts need something more. Eventually, forcing ourselves to “feel” secure wears us out and makes us paranoid. Trying to change by our own strength is exhausting and ineffective.

To defeat the sin of insecurity we need a source of security. We need one with the power to defeat sin as it cripples us.

We need Christ’s strength, the Spirit’s leadership, and God’s armor to fully conquer anything.

Paul explains, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23.) Sin’s effect on human nature ensures our efforts to be good and defeat sin fall short. It ensures our insecurities exist for a reason- we don’t have absolute security in ourselves.

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“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus said of human effort’s sufficiency.

“There is only One who is good,” He explained, pointing out that God alone does not fall short (Matthew 19:17.)

Only God measures up to the glory of God.

Only God’s security is completely secure.

The solution, the bridge from “fallen short” to “all fullness of God,” is always Christ.

He is the only One whose efforts are enough to defeat sin.

God never suggests we enter battle armed with behavior change, healthier outlooks, or improved ideologies. But all throughout Scripture, God does calls us to the One who defeats sin.

Don’t skip ignorantly past the “only One who is good”, don’t bypass God’s “through.”

Through Christ we are transformed. Through Him we can do all things. Through Him we can boast in God. Through Him we are cleansed. Through the Spirit living in us….

Greater is He who is living in us than he who is living in the world.

It’s isn’t by effort we are changed into conquerors, but by surrender to Christ that we are transformed into those who can stand firm through the fight of faith. We stand firm because the war is won.

As G. Campbell Morgan phrased it,

We are not fighting the central battle, we are simply doing the skirmishing of administration. Armageddon was won on Calvary. Think of it, dear heart, and remember it sometimes.”*

The pressure is off. Your sin, even as a believer, will be defeated by resisting the temptation of life by your own effort and surrendering instead to the efforts of the Holy Spirit in you.

Surrender. Rely. Go through.

Thank the Lord…

We don’t have to fall short of the glory of God. By falling on Christ in the battle with sin, we fall on the glory of God Himself.

*The Simple Things of the Christian Life. Pg 45.

Submissions for this series’ conglomerate guest post are due October 30th! Excited!

Click HERE…old posts on sin are welcome too : )

This post may also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

What God’s Word Taught Me About Comparison- The Word Works Series

Gleaming with fresh perspective, Kristine’s blog and ministry More Than Yourself works lesson by lesson to shift perspective away from “me” and onto the reality of God’s design for our lives- and everyones’. She is also releasing a new book on comparison called Over It, so check out her blog for more information! Thanks for re-orienting our thoughts today, Kristine.
Author Bio 1

My spirit longed to put words on paper for others to read.

I knew I had a book stirring inside me, but that’s about all I knew. I read. I studied. I prayed. I hoped soon God would refine the message He placed in my heart and show me how to share it.

I embarked on a new adventure in writing after many years of teaching it to junior high students. As I practiced, learned, and practiced even more, God began revealing a vulnerability I’d tucked into a deep, hidden place where I would never have to deal with it. Or so I thought.

Little by little, I worked to develop my skills and put words out there I hoped would bring others closer to God. But all the time, I was allowing myself to be distracted by what I saw other women doing. Great women. Amazing women. The more I watched them, the more self-doubt creeped in and whispered condemning words in my ear.

I had let the voice of comparison lead me down a destructive path.

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I knew at that moment – this was the message He wanted me to share – my battle with comparing.

In my early twenties I came to know Christ as my Savior. Once I allowed God to have control of my life, He instilled in me a passion for reading about the lives of women in Scripture. I connected with them.

I identified with them.

I found joy in learning from these women and teaching others about their lives. We can discover so much from their circumstances – from making connections between their experiences and our own.

But I had no idea God would show me the truth about overcoming comparison through the lives of three of these special ladies.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”

(Psalm 139:16 NIV)

The book I had welling up in my spirit began with this simple truth. I would soon uncover the way to end my need to compare through my study of these biblical women. Today, that message I felt stirring inside me is about to be released, just two years after the journey began.

Over It SPINE (1)

In my new book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, I lead a journey through the stories of three women in Scripture who fell into the comparison trap but learned the keys to finding freedom from comparing. Walking through their stories, we can…

Discover deep truths about the struggle with comparison.

Find contentment in our God-given uniqueness.

Realize God’s plan is more than we could ever imagine.

Has the voice of comparison caused you to question whether you measure up next to her? Are you ready to erase comparison and embrace all God has planned for you? Then I invite you to come along with me and find the answers your heart longs for – the answers that will bring us to a place where we are able to say, “I’m over it,” and mean it.

The Over It book will be available on Amazon April 5th. To purchase your copy, click here.  Proceeds from the sale of each book will benefit the More Than Yourself, Inc. scholarship program.

This post is being shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #LifeGivingLinkup.