Besetting Sins & Agitating Passion Cripple God’s People
Besetting sins & agitating passions cripple the Body of Christ and hold her back from fulfilling her true purpose and destiny on the earth. For the most part she has been oblivious to the reality that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine, (Song of Solomon 2:15). It is not unusual for those who believe that they are serving God with all of their hearts and souls to miss the mark of the high calling of God in Christ. This is most often because they have given themselves over to besetting sins & agitating passions.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4 we read that “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him”. Further is says “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the moral decay of this world.”
This world is morally bankrupt and shamelessly indulging in the most corrupt and horrid acts of perversion and violence in the history of the world. When you consider the corruption in the world today that leads not only to evil desires, but also evil actions, these are promises that should be claimed and deeply considered in meditation and prayer.
This day of moral decay demands that we cling to the lifeline of the Word of God as if it was our only hope for survival. It truly would not be a stretch to say that the Word of God is in fact the greatest hope that this generation has to survive and overcome in a morally corrupt world.
We Must Consider the Sins and Passions of God’s People
When the widespread level of filth and corruption in the world is considered few would think the sins and passions of God’s people would come close to the sins of those who are propagating or participating in this level of crime and evil. We wouldn’t expect a born again Christian finance officer to be embezzling money from the company that employs him. Nor would we ever believe that Christians would be engaged in prostitution or selling young women into sex slavery. It is doubtful that a Christian would roam the streets at night looking for a car to steal and sell for money to support their enduring and growing crack addiction.
While all Christians are tempted by their adversary the devil to step way beyond the expected boundaries of righteousness, most Christians would run from the temptation. It’s possible that some have gone that far. If so the depth of their commitment to Christ and His Word should be questioned and closely scrutinized.
True Christians should not be expected to be saints. There is an expectation that they will be tempted and seduced by the devil to engage in illicit behaviors. Most will resist these devilish seductions. The little foxes that ultimately snare them are the sins of their flesh. Their heavenly calling and commitment are usually sabotaged by their besetting sins & agitating passions.
For the purpose of clarity a besetting sin is anything that moves us towards our own fleshly inclinations and away from God’s calling and purposes for our lives. To name a few some are given to gluttony, some to sexual passions, other watch television or play video games incessantly, and others might waste hours and hours a day on the internet or social media. The list, of course, is endless.
Most do not have a clue that there is anything wrong with what they do. In fact by the world’s standards their besetting sins & agitating passions are legal and everybody is involved with them. Why should they abstain from these pleasures in their lives?
I suppose nothing would be inherently wrong with most of these activities if they are not done in excess. The problem arises if their indulgence draws them from their call to fully follow Christ. The litmus test of whether a besetting sin or agitating passion can be considered threatening to the call of God on a person’s life is this: Can they lay it all down and follow Christ exclusively? If the answer is no, then they are truly caught up in their own sins and passions. Their heart is divided and their commitment is weak. Their indulgence in these self-centered passions is too demanding. Despite their best efforts and the saving grace of God, these sins seem to defy all efforts to overcome them. That is if the will to overcome them is there. Such issues usually have deep roots in the soul and they can cause much grief at the heart level.
Understand that a committed Christian does not have to be a monk. Neither should he be a junk food junkie, a chronic gambler, a sipping saint, or a media addict. Scripture demands that we be all the more eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) our calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall (2 Peter 1:10).
A Presbyterian minister in the early 1900s, T. L. Cuyler, described the gravity of the sins and passions of the soul like this “A Christian is never safe, never strong, never true to Christ, unless he is constantly seizing every sinful and selfish passion, and forcing it into unconditional surrender.” The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I buffet my body and make it my slave.” Both men describe an act of violent exertion of moral strength in order to beat and force their besetting sins and agitating passions into submission.
The demands of scripture for a saint to keep himself pure from the moral corruption and the dangers of besetting sins & agitating passions have been emphasized up to this point in this writing. In Philippians 2:12 we read that we must “work out our own salvation by fear and trembling”. We must not forget that the New Testament set us free from the demands of the law. In fact “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes,” (Romans 10:4). Thus while we should realize we must take decisive action to be freed from our besetting sins & agitating passions, we need to also understand that we are not alone in the effort.
Christ Came to Free Us From the Sins and Passions of Our Flesh
Our Father in Heaven knew from the beginning of time that freedom and liberty from these besetting sins & agitating passions could not be accomplished by our own efforts. That is why He sent Jesus to give His life on the cross so that we could be free from our the grip of these sins of the soul.
If while reading this article you have felt the Spirit gently nudging you or if you have been overwhelmed with the need to come out of a debilitating sin that you have nurtured far too long, it is time to do something about it. My next article will address practical steps that you can take to help you find freedom from the things that you do that cripple your walk with Christ.
From the Spiritual perspective to begin your quest for liberty from your sins and passions of your soul you must commit your efforts to God in prayer. Confess your helplessness to free yourself from these sins & passions. Confess you inability to over power these sins in your life. Acknowledge your desire to walk with Him in spirit and in truth. Come to Him with a sincere heart. He will never turn away a repentant sinner who comes to Him asking for mercy to be set free.