For those of us who like to “resolve” or prioritize or strive to achieve a different path each New Year’s, I’d like to offer some hope and encouragement.
January 2015 I made a resolution for that year to be the year of no bondage to sin, and only by God’s grace I had victory! Each time the Holy Spirit convicted me I aimed to respond immediately. It was not by my power, resolve, will power, or strength. Only pure dependence on God’s power as I know my weakness and insufficiency.
You see, there’s a big difference between willful (making an active decision) sin and inadvertent sin. I spent a large portion of my life in complete rebellious, willful sin. I knew it was sin, I knew the Holy Spirit was convicting me and I chose to ignore it, stuff it down and not respond.
Inadvertent sin is different, it’s like having a bad reaction, realizing it immediately and asking God’s forgiveness and choose to do better next time.
Once I chose to be in willful sin and it continued for some time, it became something I was enslaved to. Sin digs its meaty little hooks into you and holds you captive.
Once you’ve willfully chosen to be placed in bondage to sin, only the One Faithful and True God can get you out. Check out my blog post To the Christian Trapped in Sin
I spent a lot of time in recovery and restoration, coming out of bondage and I noticed some hallmarks of being a captive to sin. I have shared some things I learned below.
First and foremost, there’s a way out if you are in bondage! This is to help identify if you are, in fact, in bondage to your habitual sin, or if you are like every other Christian that is called according to 1 Timothy 6:11-12- Flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1) You are in bondage if your daily life has a hallmark of your habitual sin, you are known by it. (Liar, substance abuser, gossiper, controlling, lustful, deceiver, fearful, prideful, rebellious, idolizer-obsessed with something, etc.)
2) If you find yourself in a trap of sin-confess-sin-confess, but never actually shake the sin you confess over and over and chose to be different, you are probably in bondage.
3) It’s very easy for you to rationalize your problems, make excuses or blame others or circumstances for your plight. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for…” “I deserve to have this for all I’ve been through…” “It’s just the way I am”…. “At least I’m not as bad as so and so”…. you are in bondage.
4) Sometimes you hate who you’ve become but feel you have no way out…bondage.
5) You’ve overcome an area of sin, but you keep getting tempted in that area…but you don’t choose it again… you are struggling with temptation- Keep fighting!
6) A flesh pattern in your life rears its ugly head over and over, but you fight it and try to be different, or catch yourself in the middle of it and immediately retreat- You are struggling- Keep fighting!
7)You have no idea what it means to walk in the Freedom of Christ and how to be like Christ- buried in bondage
If any of these sounds like you, have hope, take heart! I had so many areas of bondage and now can say with such joy that I am FREE!
The first thing is to recognize it, admit it to be true and confess to God. Ask His forgiveness.
Second, I was given some amazing materials to help guide me through the process. Here is the main page to Freedom in Christ Ministries and this is the link to materials .
I highly recommend The Steps to Freedom in Christ first. Many of these are on Kindle as well.
Don’t take 2015’s problems with you into 2016 any longer. Become Free and see what living life is like on the other side of that bondage!