One of the most frequent type emails we keep receiving on a regular basis is people writing in asking how they can get victory over specific sin areas they are still are engaging in. When many of them write in, they have been battling certain types of sins for many years.
They would get a little victory with the Lord, but then several months later they would always fall right back into the same sin area.
By the time they usually write into us, they are beat up, worn out, tormented, and some of them are even afraid of losing their salvation with the Lord. They feel God is going to eventually give up on them and cast them off forever since we do have verses like this in our Bible.
What we always tell these people is to not give up, that they have not lost their salvation with the Lord, and that God will not give up on them as long as they stay in the battle and do not give up on Him.
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will not wrestle with a man forever, but this verse is also telling us that He will wrestle and try to get someone cleaned up and delivered as long as that person does not give up and throw in the towel on the Lord.
What I have learned over the years with the Lord is that He will roll up His sleeves and get right down there in the trenches with you to help deliver you and get you pulled out of these sin pits.
I have seen God do this so many times with so many people, that I have a slang expression for it when I see it occur – and that slang expression is “trench warfare.”
God will get right down in there in the trenches with you, and He will stay with you for as long as it will take to get the job done and get you pulled out and delivered. And sometimes these types of deliverances will take years to get done, not weeks or months.
Many of these people are also afraid to reach out for help from other Christians for fear they will be judged and criticized for being in these sin areas for as long as they have. As a result, they keep a lot of this to themselves.
Many judgmental type Christians will start bashing these type of people, as they think they should not be in these types of sin areas for as long as they have been in them.
But again, what I have seen from first hand experience with the Lord, is that some people will need a certain amount of time to get fully delivered with the Lord, and many of these types of cases are deliverances that are more slow and progressive, which means they will not happen overnight.
Here are some of the specific sin areas that I have seen where the Lord dealt with these people over a certain period of time, and in many of these areas that period of time was years, not months or weeks.
- Drug usage including pot
- Some type of criminal activity
- Heavy addictive gambling
- Psychics – we have seen some Christians get hooked on going to psychics
- Verbally and/or physically abusive behavior toward their loved ones
- Cigarette smoking
- Promiscuous lifestyle
I know some people will not consider cigarette smoking an actual sin, but the reason I have listed it with the other sin areas is that this vice is so deadly, that it can eventually kill you. I have also seen God move so many times on people who smoke, that I have to include this vice in this type of an article.
As we all know, internet pornography is also a major sin area that many Christians are still engaging in these days, including many pastors. Last statistic I heard was that 50% of all Christian pastors are still hooked on internet pornography, along with 50% of the men, as well as a certain percentage of the women.
If you look very closely at all of the above sin areas, the one common thread they all have is that they can all lead to very addictive behaviors where you keep repeating the same behavior over and over again.
They all bring with them a certain amount of physical and mental stimulation, a certain amount of arousal and pleasure, and that is why it is so hard for some Christians to pull completely out of these types of sin areas.
Our own natural will power and emotional strength is limited and that is why some people will need the strength and power of the Holy Spirit Himself to finally break these kinds of addictive behaviors off of them once and for all. If you try and do this solely out of your flesh, you may not be able to succeed unless you have above average will power, which some people do have.
Some people can simply use their own natural will power and simply pull out of these addictive type sins once they receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon them.
But others will not have that kind of strong will power and as a result, they will pull in and out of these sin areas trying to break free from them. Just when they feel they have finally broken free, something else will happen and they will then fall right back into the pit. They will wrestle with both themselves and with God trying to break free from these different sin areas.
To those of you who are still in the trenches, still wrestling and battling with these types of addictive behaviors, I want to use this article to try and give you some basic information and knowledge that will really help you finally get total victory over these different types of heavier sin areas.
Even if it takes a matter of years, the Lord will stay with you and finally deliver you if you just will stay the course with Him and not give up and throw in the towel and walk off His playing field.
1. Bible Verses on God’s Mercy and Patience
The first thing you are going to need, especially if you have been in one of these sin areas for quite a long period of time, is to realize that God the Father is a very patient and merciful God.
Many Christians are afraid of God the Father due to all of the heavy judgment action they have read about in the OT. But if you read the rest of the verses about God the Father in the OT, you will also see that He has a very loving, merciful, tender, and patient side to His personality.
Though God is obviously capable of great wrath and anger if provoked, the Bible also tells us that the Lord is slow to anger, which means it does take quite a bit to get Him to blow.
God does not get as easily mad as many of us do when we lose our patience and tempers down here on this earth. God has a much longer fuse than we do, and this is why you should never be afraid to approach Him if you need help in this kind of an area.
Again, I have seen God the Father show great patience and great mercy when working with people who have fallen into some of these kinds of addictive behaviors. I have seen Him get right down there in the trenches with these people and stay with them for years if need to be to finally get them delivered and cleaned up once and for all.
If you are one of those Christians who are battling some of the above sin areas and you have other judgmental Christians ripping on you and telling you that you are on your way to hell, do not listen to them. As long as you are being open and honest with both yourself and the Lord, He will continue to stay with you and work with you until He gets you fully delivered from the specific sin area you are caught up in.
Many times when God delivers someone, it will be a more slow and progressive type deliverance. God can obviously do the quick and instantaneous type deliverances whenever He wants to, and those are always spectacular and mind-blowing when we do see them. But these slower and more progressive types of deliverances are just as spectacular and mind-blowing, if not possibly more so, as the battle is longer and much more fierce and intense as versus a quick and sudden type healing and deliverance.
Now here are some very important Bible verses you will need to have so you can see that God the Father really does have this patient and merciful side to His personality.
- “… But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness …” (Nehemiah 9:17)
- “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8)
- “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” (Psalm 86:15)
- “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness …” (Joel 2:13)
- “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:8)
- “The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting …” (Psalm 100:5)
- “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him … But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11,17)
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Especially notice in three of the above verses it says that God is slow to anger. And if God is slow to anger, this means He has a great deal of patience within His personality.
So not only does God the Father have maximum patience in His personality, but the Holy Spirit Himself also has maximum patience in His personality. And the Holy Spirit will be the One who will eventually deliver you, as the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is the One who will actually put to death the deeds of the body. If you were not aware of this specific verse from our Bible, here it is:
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14)
Notice this verse specifically says that the deeds of the body will be put to death “by the Spirit.” And all of the heavy sin areas mentioned above are definitely “deeds” of the body that God would like to put to death once and for all.
Now here are some key definitions on what the word “longsuffering” means from some of the different Bible Dictionaries:
- Forbearance, patience
- Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation
- Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation
- Patience, endurance, steadfastness and forbearance
- Forbearance under suffering and endurance in the face of adversity
- Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment
Notice the key words of patience, endurance, and steadfastness. This means that God will have patience with you, along with staying steadfast with you and enduring the trial with you.
In other words, God will stay with you for as long as it will take to get the job done, which in this case will be to get you fully delivered from the heavy sin area you may be caught up in.
Demons love to put that kind of fear on people so they think they may have lost their salvation with the Lord – but do not fall for it!
If you keep working with God, God will keep working with you. And sooner or later you will get the victory with the Lord if you do not give up and walk away from Him.
2. Be Led by the Holy Spirit as to What Steps to Take to Break the Addiction
This next step is going to be very, very important.
Depending on exactly what you are involved in and how long you have been involved in it, the Holy Spirit may start to give you some specific steps He will want you to take on your end. And if you start to receive those specific steps from Him, it would be our very strong recommendation that you listen to Him and do exactly what He is telling you to do, as each one of these steps will be a major part of your healing and deliverance.
This step right here is why many Christians do not get a quick deliverance from the Lord – because they are not taking the initial steps He is wanting them to take.
Depending on what you are addicted to, God may want you to work with a medical doctor, a Christian counselor, or some type of support group to help get you over the hump.
Many people who are hooked on drugs, alcohol, gambling, and pornography sometimes have to get together with a good Christian counselor and/or possibly a good Christian support group depending on how heavy their addiction is. They may need the help and support of other Christians to help them get through it.
What God will do is work through these other people to try and help you out. This it is why it is extremely important that you take whatever steps the Lord is leading you to take. Do it God’s way right at the beginning and you will then get to the finish line much quicker.
God the Father is the Master Strategist and He knows exactly what He is doing and exactly how to handle each one of these kinds of heavier situations.
3. Be Willing to Enter into a True Sanctification Process With the Lord
One area we always lead people to when they write in on these kinds of dilemmas, is to lead them into a true sanctification process with the Lord. We have one very special article alone on what the sanctification process is all about with the Lord and how to enter into it with Him.
I cannot tell you how many emails we have received from people over the last 4-5 years who did the special prayer that was in that article and then were willing to work with the Lord in the areas that He was wanting to work with them on.
Over a period of time, they all said that God changed their personalities for the better and that they would never go back to the old person they used to be before they started this sanctification process up with the Lord.
Sanctification with the Lord is truly the thing that will cause major and dramatic changes to occur within your personality over time with the Lord – and it will also help you get victory over any sinful habits you are still engaging in, like some of the ones mentioned above at the top of this article.
Once you give the Lord a full, solid, green light to start this sanctification process within you, He will then enter you right into it. And from there, both He and the Holy Spirit will start to work with you on exactly what it is they want to add into your personality, and exactly what it is they want to remove from your personality so you can then become the true sanctified saint that God is wanting you to become in Him in this life.
Here is the direct link to this article if you would like to enter into this holy process with the Lord. The title of this article is “Sanctification“ and it is the very first article listed in our Sanctification Section.
This one step alone could completely turn the tide for you and get you fully delivered from your heavy sin area, since you are giving both God and the Holy Spirit a full, solid, green light to change you from the inside out!
As I said at the top of this article, I have seen God get down into the trenches with so many people in the different sins areas they were engaging in, that I have labeled it “trench warfare” when I do see it occur with Him.
I know some Christians will look at the above sin areas and will think to themselves that there should be no excuse for any true Christian to still be wallowing and engaging in these types of heavier sins, especially since we all now have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us.
However, though we all know that these types of activities are definitely sins in the eyes of God since the Bible tells us so, what happens with some people in these types of sin areas is that a mental stronghold can form out in that person’s mind and thinking.
Also, with drugs and cigarettes, a chemical dependency can occur where the body itself will become addicted to the behavior.
And once that stronghold forms out, either in the mind and/or the body, it will take the power of the Holy Spirit to finally break it off them for good. The Bible tells us that the anointing of God will break the yoke of bondage.
And these types of heavy sin areas definitely have a yoke of bondage to them.
The Bible also tells us that our spirits and flesh will war against one another, and all of the above sin areas are sins of the flesh. Combine the war that goes on between our spirits and our flesh, and then the fact that some people will have a strong mental stronghold form out once they start to engage in some of this kind of heavier activity, and you will now have a person who will need a full scale deliverance from the Lord.
One man I know hooked on pornography took 5 years to get a full and complete deliverance from the Lord. And the Lord stood completely by His side for those 5 years until it was finally broken off him.
Another girl I used to work with was horribly addicted to cigarettes for over 25 years. She asked God for His help to break it off her and it took a good 10 years before it finally got broken off her for good.
What would happen is that God would move in on her in waves. She would be off the cigarettes for 1-2 months, but then all of a sudden she would fall right back into it. But finally at the 10 year mark, God made another strong move on her and this time she really grabbed a hold of His power and finally broke this bad habit off her for good. She has not had another cigarette for over 4 years now.
What got these people eventually delivered was their tenacity and their willingness to stay with the Lord, no matter how long it was going to take to break free from their addictions.
And in each one of these cases, God stayed with them the whole time and continued to work with them until they finally broke free from their addictive behavior. God did not bail out on them and leave them to fend for themselves. He stayed right there with them the whole time until the victory was finally secured.
When you see God stay that long with someone, especially on a heavier type of sin area, this is where you really see the love, mercy, and patience that God really has not only with them, but with the rest of us as well, since the Bible tells us that He is no respecter of persons.
Again, if there are any of you out there who are still caught up in any type of addictive sin area, and you are finding yourself having a very hard time in breaking completely away from it, try taking steps #2 and #3 above to see if that will not turn the tide for you.
I cannot stress enough how powerful the sanctification process is with the Lord. If there is one thing that is going to change you from the inside out, including breaking off these kinds of addictive behaviors, it will be allowing the Lord to enter you into a true sanctification process with Him.
Once you give God the Father and the Holy Spirit a full, solid, green light to begin this sanctification process on the inside of your being, the Holy Spirit will waste no time in starting to change you at a pace that will be very comfortable for you to handle. God will not overwhelm you or push you past your own personal limits in this realm.
The Holy Spirit can take out any type of bad and negative qualities you may still have operating in your personality if you will just give Him your permission to do this type of work on the inside of your being, and then be willing to work with Him on it once He starts it up with you.
I know the above two steps may sound a bit simplistic and almost too easy, but I have seen them work over and over again with so many people with the Lord. Once again, if you are caught up in any one of these heavier type of sin areas, and you have not been able to break free from them using your own natural strength and will power, try giving the Lord a chance.
- Simply cry out to the Lord and approach Him in prayer, asking Him to deliver you from the specific sin area you are still caught up in, as everything always starts out with a good, strong, heartfelt prayer to the Lord.
- From there, go the extra step and ask God to enter you into a true sanctification process so the Holy Spirit can begin the job of changing and transforming you from the inside out into the kind of person God wants you to become in Him.
- And once you put those two special requests before the the Lord, make sure you obey any specific directions and instructions you may receive from the Holy Spirit.
Once you fully surrender the entire matter into God’s hands, God will then start to move to help you out and get you eventually delivered. What I cannot tell you is exactly what steps God will be asking you to take for Him, and how long it will take before the final deliverance comes. Each of these cases will be unique and different.
That is why we as Christians should be very careful on how harshly we judge other Christians who are still engaging in these types of heavier sins.
As long as we know they are really working with God to break free from their addictive behaviors, we should also pray for them as well. Some of these people will also have demons attached to them as a result of being in some of these heavy sin areas for too long, and that could also be compounding the problem and making it harder for them to pull out of it.
Our God is still in the deliverance business, and there is nothing that He cannot break someone free from if that person will just work with Him on it and do exactly what He tells them to do. It really is that simple and that easy.