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 full-court press in basketball is when the defensive team applies a very close-up defensive covering of the offensive team. Typically, each defensive team member covers one offensive team member very closely and aggressively. The goal is to encircle the team on offense, and cause them to turn over the ball and make it difficult for them to get the basket. Besetting sins in the Christian life are similar to a full-court press. These sins encircle the thoughts and lives of Christians, resulting in constant sinful behavior and lack of ability to have victory. In Heb. 12:1, we are exhorted to “lay aside the sin which doth so easily beset us.” Let us consider how we can break the full-court press of besetting sins.
We see the burdensome PRESENCE.
Besetting sins are habitual sins that have control over our lives. These are sins that we have allowed to slowly gain control over our lives and that happen frequently. Satan has been given access to areas of our life, and we find ourselves falling to these sins. Some of these sins are lying; stealing; unmanaged anger; jealousy; envies; bitterness; wrath; doubtfulness; little faith; unforgiveness; unkindness; slothfulness; apathetic neglect of Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance; and lustful desires. Besetting sins pop up more than once in a day, and we make excuses for allowing these sins to reign in us. They are the little foxes that eat away at the grapes. They appear harmless as the little city of Zoar, but in reality are covered pits that ensnare us. What are the besetting sins in your life that the Holy Spirit is bringing to your mind?
We see the Biblical PROCESS.
Paul said, “We must lay aside these sins!” The word that is used for “lay aside” is the same word used in Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3 “to put away,” and “to put off.” It has the idea of taking off outer clothing. First, we must be honest and confess these sins to God. There is no victory over sin until we make a repentant confession that we are in sin. Second, we must forsake these sins. To forsake means we are abandoning and doing away with this problem. It is like throwing old stale food into the garbage bin. We have no intention of bringing it back. Replace lying with the truth. Replace bitterness with forgiveness and grace. Replace unkindness with kindness. Replace unmanaged anger with prayer. We must have a sincere desire to put these sins off and not go back to putting them back on. Ask God to make your conscience strong and to disdain the presence of these sins in your life.
We see the blessed PRODUCT.
When the besetting sins are put away, we walk in the light as He is in the light. When these sins are put away, our hearts are tender, our vision is clear, and our spiritual desire is revived. We have victory and a productive life.
A certain man wanted to sell his house for $2,000. Another man wanted very badly to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn’t afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: he would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door. After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So first the owner went out, found the carcass of a dead animal, and hung it from the nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail. The Haitian pastor’s conclusion: “If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ’s habitation.” [Dale A. Hays, Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 2]
Don’t leave besetting sins in your life. Break the full-court press Satan has had in your life, and be free to make a winning basket in your life!
Have a liberated God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 8-11