1 Samuel 15 : 17 - 23, So Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.' Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?" And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. NKJV
Did you know that Christians can struggle with sin in their lives even after salvation? It’s true! We can wrestle with sin, bondages, and addictions when we don’t obey the truth or continue in the truth after accepting Jesus as our Lord. However, there is another reason why believers struggle with these problems; it is because they are still spiritually immature. Paul refers to those who are spiritually under-developed as carnally minded or babes in Christ. They continue on the milk of the Word instead feasting on the strong meat of it.
King Saul was given explicit instructions by the Lord to destroy the enemies of Israel. Nevertheless, in his pride, the king decided to only partially obey the Lord’s commands; he decided to keep the “good” spoils to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord. This is the same as you and me disobeying the Holy Spirit and trying to appease God by offering Him our “good works.” It doesn’t work because it is not of faith; and anything that isn’t of faith is sin. When King Saul self- justified doing what he felt “was right” in his heart instead of doing what God commanded him, he opened the door to sin. Consequently, Christians who disobey God by convincing themselves that they can do God’s will their way, also open the door for sin to sneak in and take up residence. Nonetheless, had King Saul completely obeyed God’s command, he would have been walking by faith and would have overcome any tendency to sin against the Lord.
You may be wondering, “How can I live by faith every moment throughout my day so that I don’t sin against the Lord?” The same way you came to faith in Christ, you heard the gospel of Christ; you believed it as truth, and became born again. Now that you’re saved, you can only walk by faith when you honor God’s Word and continually obey it. In other words, you apply the principles and the truth of God’s Word to your everyday life. When we continue to walk in the truth of God’s Word, we will know the truth, and it will make us free from bondage.
Hence, if you’re confessing that you are saved, yet you’re beating yourself up because of a particular bondage that is still in your life, let me share a word of wisdom with you: Jesus tells us, in our patience, we possess our souls. Just because you have a weakness, it doesn’t mean you’re not saved; it simply means you have to trust God, and after that wait on Him to deliver you. If you do this, then you’re not “putting up with” a sin or habit; instead, you’re waiting by faith for God to set you free from it.
Remember, the Word of God is filled with promises to those who believe in His name. If you continue obeying the truth, then in His time, God will set you free. Only when we apply the truth to our lives are we operating in faith, and as a result, inheriting the promises of God. Instead of making excuses for our sin, let us confess them to the Lord and allow His Word to empower us to overcome them. When we live by faith, we are empowered to defeat the Devil, sin, and our flesh nature; we will no longer fall prey to self-justification or condemnation. I may struggle, but I’m not defeated because I’m in Christ; and He is my victory over all my weaknesses.
Walking in Victory by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery