I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ when I was 17. Although I instantly received the Holy Spirit, I was not instantly set free from all my indwelling sin. In fact, I didn’t even know what sin was. All I knew was that my old lifestyle and habits bothered me greatly.
As the convictions got stronger, I became more determined to overcome the sin that was holding me back from reaching my full potential in Christ. My mind was willing, but my flesh was weak. These habits were addictions.
Some things were easy to give up, but others took a long time to quit. The tips I’m going to share with you will paint you a road map to overcoming sin and give you hope that you can do this.
Check out my newest book, “I Don’t Want To Sin: Overcoming Sin While Maintaining Healthy Mindsets”.
All scriptures are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
The Word Of God
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
– Hebrews 4:12
According to the above scripture, the Word of God is alive and full of power. It cuts into a human and divides the soul from the spirit. The Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, and our soul, which is our personality, are constantly at war with one another. It’s what the Bible refers to as the war between the spirit and the flesh.
Our soul is full of what we want. It’s all about us because it makes us who we are. We have three parts:
- Our skin (the flesh)
- Our soul (our fleshly nature without God)
- The spirit (which is either the Holy Spirit, no spirit, or a demonic spirit)
When we become born again, we receive the Holy Spirit and can now discern things the way God does. However, we still have our sinful nature and need to renew our minds and begin the sanctification process.
I am convinced that there is nothing stronger than reading the Word of God for your own transformation. The reason I say this is because John 1:1 states that the Word and God are one. Also, Romans 12:2 calls us to renew our mind, which we do by making the Word of God our foundation in mindsets and values.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
To be conformed to this world means that we fit in. We think, act, and talk like everyone else. The reason why this is problematic is because the world does not belong to God (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 14:27). When Adam and Eve sinned, they gave the authority (that God had given them) over to the enemy.
This is why in Matthew chapter 4, the devil tempts Jesus by showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. The enemy tells Jesus he will hand them all over to Him if He would just fall down and worship him. This is a temptation because Jesus came to redeem mankind from the devil. Nonetheless, He refused to bow and obtained the keys to hell and death the hard way (Revelation 1:18; Matthew 26:39).
Instead of conforming to this world, God wants us to renew our minds. We should have the minds of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and be able to tell the difference between the will of Satan and the will of God. The way we renew our minds is by reading and meditating on the Word of God.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.“
– 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
In order to properly fight back against the devil and overcome sin, we must understand how he operates. The battle we fight takes place in our minds. The enemy attempts to shoot us with his fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16) which we can extinguish with the shield of faith. Whenever the enemy places a lie in our head, it’s our responsibility to call him out and speak the truth found in the Word of God (bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ).
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”
– Ephesians 6:17
In Ephesians chapter six, Paul gives us a list of spiritual armor we are to take up. The only weapon found on that list is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
When Satan tempted Jesus three times, each time Jesus overcame Him by using scripture. If you’re going to overcome sin and defeat the enemy at his own game, you have to use the Word of God.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“
– 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
The Bible actually tells us to pray without ceasing. God always wants to be connected to you and have communication. If you think that sounds weird, think about it this way: have you ever had a relationship with someone and you wanted to talk to them nonstop? I know I have.
There were plenty of friendships I had that we spoke for hours on end. Even now, my husband and I don’t like being apart from each other. If we’re separated, we spend every moment we can on the phone.
God wants it to be the same way with you and Him. I know from experience that being in close contact with God all the time makes it harder to sin (or enjoy sinning). It makes the feeling of conviction stronger and grows the desire to let that sin go.
If you’re having a hard time spending time with God, check out this post.
Replace The Bad With Good
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
– Romans 12:21
The Bible tells us to overcome evil with good. That means we may have to find a different habit or activity to replace our old one. For example, if you’re sin is to gossip and speak negatively about people, then try this activity. Try to think of three things you genuinely like about that person. Everyone has something they’re good at.
They may not be a nice person, you may not like the way they look, but there’s definitely something positive about them. You just have to spend some time thinking about it. Another technique you could try is posting the golden rule somewhere you can see it.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This is a great way to overcome sin, but it may not always be applicable. When I finally quit smoking cigarettes, there was nothing I could replace them with. However, I was pregnant so I forced myself to stop. Once the cravings went away, I was no longer addicted. I was finally set free from my sin.
Have An Accountability Partner
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20
Having an accountability partner is a great idea, but it could be frustrating at times. You would actually have to stop your sin or be called out by someone you care about.
This really helped me when I was overcoming smoking. Even when we were apart from each other, my husband always knew I smoked. I’m convinced that God was telling Him because how did he know? I could never get away with it!
Because I didn’t want to let him down, I started to smoke less. I would try to see how far I could go in between each cigarette and really push myself. My love for him helped me break my addiction.
Find someone who can hold you accountable. If they want to overcome sins too, then you two can hold each other accountable. Almost everything is more fun with a friend. Also, when you take this route, you’ll have a less likely chance of feeling lonely. Just make sure it’s someone that you have a great relationship with. You don’t want to ruin any friendships by trying this.
Keep Your Mind On The Benefits
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8
What’s the reason you want to overcome your sin? Is it to live a healthier lifestyle? Is it to honor God? Do you want to get rid of the feeling of conviction? Whatever your reason is, it’s important to keep it in your mind.
I didn’t give myself another option when it came to smoking. My reason was that I had a baby growing inside of me. How unfair would it be to harm that child because of my bad decisions? I told myself that I needed to wait until that baby was born to continue smoking. However, after 3 months, I no longer wanted a cigarette.
Jim Rohn once said, “If the why is powerful, the how is easy.” When you have a good reason to stop sinning, you’ll keep trying until you succeed. You won’t allow yourself to quit.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
– Colossians 3:2
Remember The Consequences
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.“
– John 8:32-33
If you continue in your sin, what would happen? Are there consequences that will make their way to you if you keep on entertaining that sin? As soon as I feel the enemy trying to tempt me, I immediately cut him off. If you allow his temptations to fester, they’ll grow and he’ll soon have his way.
Keeping yourself distracted from thinking about sin is a great way to avoid it. The more you think about it, the more likely you’ll be to commit. Everything we do starts in the form of a thought. The enemy knows that, as we’ve discussed, so don’t allow him in. Take control of your mind and kick him out!
It may help to write down a list of consequences that will happen if you continue in that sin. Keep it around so you can remind yourself why you’re going to overcome that sin.
I know it’s tough right now, but I’m confident that you will be able to overcome your sins. God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us and guide us through our lives. We are full of that power and God will give us the grace we need to be a conqueror in whatever the enemy attempts to throw at us.
Never give up and soon, victory will belong to you.
If you want to learn more about how to overcome sin, check out our book, “I Don’t Want To Sin.” It will cover many more tactics in detail and will walk you through the sanctification process step by step.
I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading!