Diligence in Fighting off Habitual Sins!

Early summer mornings I enjoy my front porch with my Bible and coffee pondering God’s Word and His creation. His birds sing sweetly and the wind blows gently. But lately I have noticed an intruder to my minutes of peacefulness. Red paper wasps. Red paper wasps flying in and out of my house eaves. Because I know they do sting, I began to ponder how to get rid of them.

I could get the fly swatter and get after them, I could spray them with wasp spray, or I could go tell my husband. Over the past weeks, I have chosen all three of these options on different occasions. However, my husband is usually the best option. He sprays and uses the fly swatter. One day, after announcing there were wasps on the front porch, he came armed with the fly swatter, spray, and said, “We are going to win!” He was determined to get rid of the wasps before they built a huge nest.

The morning He made his bold statement, “We are going to win!”, I was pondering Scriptures about how God delivers us from the power of sin. I had been convicted by His Spirit about a sin that reoccurs in my life. I confessed the specific sin, asked for forgiveness, and decided this sin did not have to control me any longer because of the Holy Spirit. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead will give me life (Rom 8:11; Eph 1:19-21). When sins are entrenched, it may be important to go to another Christian and ask them to pray for you and keep you accountable, which I did. Also, I reminded myself of the truth that as a believer in Christ, I am a new creation and set free from slavery to sin (Gal 2:20; Rom 6:17-18). Now I need to behold Jesus and keep my eyes fixed on Him because I become like what I behold (Psa 115:4-8; 2 Cor 3:18). Robert Murray McCheyne astutely encouraged us to take ten looks at Christ for every one look at ourselves:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer 17:9. Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief! Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. . . .Let your soul be filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency of Christ and all that is in Him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every chamber of your heart; and so there will be no room for folly, or the world, or Satan, or the flesh.”[1]

Well said by a young Scottish pastor in the 19th century! Also, I need to, “Keep a close watch on yourself (myself) and on the teaching” (1 Tim 4:16). I need to be on the lookout for sin in my life. And I need to be diligent to consistently and persistently depend on the Holy Spirit to enable me to walk in His ways.

I am diligent in fighting the red paper wasps on my front porch. But I need to be even more

diligent to fight by the Holy Spirit’s power the return of habitual sins (in thoughts, attitudes, speech, or actions)! How about you? Is there a habitual sin that you need to confess, ask forgiveness for, walk in newness of His life, and then be diligent to fight in His power? Are you determined to keep your sins from making nests in your life? You are going to win!!!

Image from Pests Wasps, accessed July 20, 2023, https://www.pests.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/redwasp_570x395.jpg.  

[1] Robert Murray McCheyne, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne  (Edinburgh: 1894), 293, quoted in Tony Reinke, “The Purifying Power of Delight in Christ,” desiringGod, August 7, 2012, accessed July 20, 2023, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-purifying-power-of-delight-in-christ.      

PJ Beets is passionate about encouraging women and children through the Scriptures and life to see the compassionate God who redeems the rejected by acceptance, the silenced by expression, the labored by grace, and the lonely by love in order to set them free to serve in His ordained place and way for them individually and corporately. She has served the Lord through Bible Study Fellowship and her home church in various capacities with women and children. Upon turning fifty, she sought the Lord on how He would have her finish well which began her journey at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies as well as a Doctor of Educational Ministry in Spiritual Formation, both from from DTS. PJ is married to Tom, has three children, and six grandchildren.

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