Our Besetting Sins

||Our Besetting Sins
Our Besetting Sins2018-09-14T18:15:16+00:00

“Besetting sins must be battled with, and overcome. Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, should be taken up separately, and compared with the great rule of righteousness; and in the light reflected from the word of God, they should be firmly resisted and overcome, through the strength of Christ. ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ Hebrews 12:14.” –Christian Education, p. 113

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

“The secret of Satan’s power over God’s professed people lies in the deceitfulness of the human heart. Their constant stumbling and falling reveal that they have not maintained a stern conflict with their besetting sins. They have not depended wholly upon Christ, because they have not realized that they are in peril of being overcome by these sins. It is the sin which appears small and unworthy of our notice against which we should be on our guard. If we could understand how deeply we injure our own souls and cause unhappiness to those around us by giving loose rein to unsanctified thoughts and unholy actions, we would strive to put them away. We would co-operate with God in working out our own salvation.” –The Signs of the Times, December 13, 1899

WHAT ARE YOUR BESETTING SINS?

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16–19

“The love of money is the besetting sin of many. Men and women who profess to worship the true God become so deceived in their pursuit after riches that they suppose gain to be godliness. The apostle Paul declares: ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called.’” –The Signs of the Times, December 13, 1899

“I saw that Satan carries out his plans well. As the servants of God appoint meetings, Satan with his angels is on the ground to hinder the work. He is constantly putting suggestions into the minds of God’s people. He leads some in one way, and some in another, always taking advantage of evil traits in the brethren and sisters, exciting and stirring up their natural besetments. If they are disposed to be selfish and covetous, Satan takes his stand by their side, and with all his power seeks to lead them to indulge their besetting sins. The grace of God and the light of truth may melt away their covetous, selfish feeling for a little, but if they do not obtain entire victory, Satan comes in when they are not under a saving influence, and withers every noble, generous principle, and they think that too much is required of them. They become weary of well-doing, and forget the great sacrifice which Jesus made to redeem them from the power of Satan and from hopeless misery.” –Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, p.172

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19–21

“We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are testing us. If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us, and bless us as His own chosen, peculiar people. When perfect faith and perfect love and obedience abound, working in the hearts of those who are Christ’s followers, they will have a powerful influence. Light will emanate from them, dispelling the darkness around them, refining and elevating all who come within a sphere of their influence, and bringing to a knowledge of the truth all who are willing to be enlightened, and to follow in the humble path of obedience.” –The Review and Herald, July 13, 1897

“Christ is our example. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us, and He asks us to give our lives as a sacrifice for others. Thus we may cast out the selfishness which Satan is constantly striving to implant in our hearts. This selfishness is death to all piety, and can be overcome only by manifesting love to God and to our fellow men. Christ will not permit one selfish person to enter the courts of heaven. No covetous person can pass through the pearly gates; for all covetousness is idolatry.” –Ibid., July 11, 1899

Balaam’s One Sin, Covetousness—“Here is a solemn warning for the people of God today, to allow no unchristian trait to live in their hearts. A sin which is fostered becomes habitual; and, strengthened by repetition, it soon exerts a controlling influence, bringing into subjection all the nobler powers. Balaam loved the reward of unrighteousness. The sin of covetousness, which God ranks with idolatry, he did not resist and overcome. Satan obtained entire control of him through this one fault, which deteriorated his character, and made him a time-server. He called God his master; but he did not serve Him; he did not work the works of God.” –The Signs of the Times, November 18, 1880

“It is the inclination to excuse our moral defects that leads to the cultivation of sin. We must never forget that God ascribes sin to the one who transgresses; it is not registered against Satan, but against the sinner. God never accepts the agency of Satan as an excuse for the committal of one sin. When there is any excuse for a seemingly wrong act, it is not sin. Satan triumphs when he hears the professed follower of Christ offering excuses for his defects of character. Sin unrepented of, unconfessed, can never be blotted from the books of God’s record. Through faithful, thorough confession of sin, the heart is cleansed from its moral impurity. There must be a forsaking of the sins the Lord has reproved, before the soul can stand acquitted before God, humbled and repentant, realizing that he has served Satan, pleased him, glorified him, and dishonored his Lord.” –Ibid., December 13, 1899

“Satan commissions his angels to be vigilant and overthrow all they can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, and bring sorrow upon the church. The souls of these misguided, unwatchful ones grow darker, and the light of heaven fades from them. They cannot discover their besetting sins, and Satan weaves his net about them, and they are taken in his snare.” –Early Writings, p. 105

THE PERIL OF NEGLECTING SALVATION

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13–14

“Let none now venture to tamper with sin, the source of every misery that has come upon our world. No longer remain in a state of lethargy and stupid indifference. Let not the destiny of your soul hang upon an uncertainty. Know for yourselves that you are fully on the Lord’s side. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, Who shall be able to stand? Have you, in the precious hours of probation mercifully granted you, been putting the best material into your character building? Have you been purifying your souls from every stain? Have you followed the light? Have your works corresponded to your profession of faith?” –The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893

This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” 1 John 1:5–6

“God has revealed His character in the goodness, the mercy, compassion, and love manifested to save a race of guilty rebels. What could be done that has not been done in the provisions of the plan of salvation? If the sinner remains indifferent to the manifestation of the goodness of God, if he neglects so great a salvation, rejects the overtures of divine mercy, refuses the gift of life purchased by the precious blood of Christ, what could be done to touch his hard heart? If the wonderful achievement wrought out by our Creator and Redeemer, into which He threw all His power and love, does not move the proud human heart, when man sees that his soul was thought of such value that the Son of the infinite God, the Majesty of heaven, was willing to lay down His life in order that we might be saved, then there is nothing that will move him.” –The Review and Herald, March 10, 1891

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received him not.” John 1:5, 9–11

“It is possible to be a formal, partial believer, and yet be found wanting, and lose eternal life. It is possible to practice some of the Bible injunctions, and be regarded as a Christian, and yet perish because you are lacking in essential qualifications that constitute Christian character. If the warnings which God has given are neglected or regarded with indifference, if you cherish or excuse sin, you are sealing your soul’s destiny; you will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. Grace, peace, and pardon will be withdrawn forever; Jesus will have passed by, never again to come within the reach of your prayers and entreaties. While mercy still lingers, while Jesus is making intercession for us, let us make thorough work for eternity.” –The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893

“But the way of life is narrow, and the entrance straight. If you cling to any besetting sin, you will find the gateway too narrow for you to enter. Your own ways, your own will, your wrong habits and unchristlike practises, must be given up if you would keep the way of the Lord. He who would follow Christ can not follow the world’s opinions or meet the world’s standard. Heaven’s path is too narrow for rank and riches to ride in state, too narrow for the plan of self-centered ambition, too steep and rugged for lovers of ease to climb.” –The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1904

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25

“God is testing and proving His children to see if He can trust them with eternal riches. Are you living for Him? Have you placed all you have at His disposal? Are you day by day revealing the unselfishness of the Redeemer? Life is uncertain. One may count on years of worldly pleasure, but accident or disease may suddenly cut him off. Are you ready for death?” –The Youth’s Instructor, March 6, 1902

WE ARE TO OVERCOME OUR BESETTING SINS

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

“Our besetting sins must be laid aside. There is no room to walk in the narrow way, and at the same time cherish evil surmisings, doubts, criticisms, envy, unkindness. To enter the strait gate and travel the narrow way demands firmness of purpose, perseverance, steadfastness; for on every hand there are voices inviting the soul into forbidden paths. It demands that we give the future life our first attention. We are to cut away from our lives everything that would hinder our progress. Every inclination to evil must be denied, every habit not in harmony with the word of God must be overcome. We are to be one with Christ. We are to refuse to turn into the path of transgression, even tho natural inclination would lead us to take a course in opposition to God’s will. Those who thus strive to follow Christ will hear His voice saying to them, ‘He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” –The Signs of the Times, September 17, 1902

“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.” John 12:35–36

Secret of Overcoming Sin—“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” –The Review and Herald, February 25, 1909

“God is our strength. We must look to Him for wisdom and guidance, and keeping in view His glory, the good of the church, and the salvation of our own souls, we must overcome our besetting sins. We should individually seek to obtain new victory every day. We must learn to stand alone and depend wholly upon God. The sooner we learn this the better. Let each one find out where he fails, and then faithfully watch that his sins do not overcome him, but that he gets the victory over them. Then can we have confidence toward God, and great trouble will be saved the church.” –Early Writings, p. 105

Dear reader, the Lord wants us to overcome all our sinful traits of character. “All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 107

“Whatever may be man’s besetting sin, whatever bitter or baleful passions struggle for the mastery, he may conquer, if he will watch and war against them in the name and strength of Israel’s Helper. The children of God should cultivate a keen sensitiveness to sin. Here, as well as elsewhere, we should not despise the day of small things. It is one of Satan’s most successful devices, to lead men to the commission of little sins, to blind the mind to the danger of little indulgences, little digressions from the plainly stated requirements of God. Many who would shrink with horror from some great transgression, are led to look upon sin in little matters as of trifling consequence. But these little sins eat out the life of godliness in the soul. The feet which enter upon a path diverging from the right way are tending toward the broad road that ends in death. When once a retrograde movement begins, no one can tell where it may end.” –Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1017

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12–14

“Mammon is the idol of many. Its golden chain binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. These are Satan’s snares, set for unwary feet. But these slavish bands must be broken; the flesh must be crucified with the affections and lusts. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s people unless we are such entirely. Every weight, every besetting sin, must be laid aside. God’s watchmen will not cry, ‘Peace, peace,’ when God has not spoken peace. The voice of the faithful watchmen will be heard: ‘Go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.’” –Testimonies for the Church, p. 83

“We are the Israel that God is leading out of the errors of the world in these last days to live by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth. The truth for this time will not fail to sanctify the soul that receives the love of it and obeys it from the heart. It will enable us to overcome every besetting sin, and to surmount every difficulty in our onward march. We can run and not be weary, walk and not faint.” –The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1888

“Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Philippians 3:6–8

“There are many in the broad way who are not fully satisfied with the path in which they walk. They long to break from the slavery of sin, and seek to make a stand against their sinful practices in their own strength. They hear the warning call to repentance. They hear that the only hope of the sinner is found in Christ. They look toward the narrow way and strait gate; but selfish pleasure, love of the world, unsanctified ambition and pride, place a barrier between them and the Saviour. They realize that all their idols must be expelled from the soul, that every sinful indulgence must be given up, all worldly encumbrances must be laid aside, in order to enter the strait gate. Jesus says, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’” –The Signs of the Times, July 11, 1892

“Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10–11, 13

If we are to be overcomers  at last, there are battles for us to fight. May God bless each soul who is striving to conquer self that we may become victorious people at last in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Jenifer Akello, Uganda

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