Christian living

DEALING WITH SINFUL HABITS – PART 1

You are a brother. When you got to your place of primary assignment somewhere in Port Harcourt, you vowed to serve God and obey all his commands but barely two months into your youth service, Cecilia moved into your apartment.

You had met her few weeks after you arrived, at the supermarket just down your street. She was dressed in the same attire as yours-khaki and the NYSC branded t-shirt and you wondered if she lived in your area.

You kicked off on a good start. Conversation flowed smoothly. The warmth in her eyes blended with the smile on your face. You discovered she resides with another lady two streets away from yours.

You live in a clean and well furnished two bedroom apartment. Thanks to your elder brother who is a programmer in a tech firm in Lagos and to your sister, a branch head of a bank in Ilorin. Money is not a problem for you. It reflects in your cozy apartment.

From WhatsApp chats to daily calls, the friendship blossomed. You cooked together, watched movies together, played together and shared a few kisses but you made sure she returned home at night.

But on that Sunday evening, something happened. Cecilia arrived at your place looking really hot in a red gown. Cleavage low. Backside enhanced. Scent strong.

At the kitchen you stared at her as she mashed the palm kernel into a bowl. In the living room, as you settled for a meal of garri and banga soup, she filled your thoughts. The movement of her waist enthralled you. Every part of her body called for your attention.

You answered the call. A call that left pangs of guilt trolling your conscience. When she left that night, you prayed every kind of prayer your mouth could utter and promised never to do it again.

The following week, she was back on your bed.

Guilt again.

‘But God, why is she so good in bed!’

The third and fourth time… and it wasn’t so sinful anymore. You had access to her body whenever you wanted. Gradually she moved her things to your house. Food. Sex. Laundry. Free.

After CDS one Thursday, Remi, the President of the Nigerian Corpers Fellowship invited you to a teaching weekend at the family house. Since you got to Port Harcourt, you have never attended any of the fellowship meetings. You decided to go this time.

That meeting stirred something in you. You see again what Christ has done for you on the cross. How you have been set free to bear fruit unto holiness. You could almost hear him say, ‘Come on, let me show you how to live this new life I have called you into.’

You asked Cecilia to leave. She smiled as she dragged her box out. You’ll call me back, she said.

You spend time in the Word and your fellowship meeting you took seriously.

But two weeks later, you called her. She showed up at your door. Like a man who suddenly sees a stream in a desert, you pulled her into the house.

Again, after you dismissed her, you sat on the floor, discouraged.

‘God, I know you have given me the grace to say No. I am no longer a debtor to the flesh anymore. My obligation is to you. Sin cannot have dominion over me. I am risen with Christ. Oh Jesus, this flesh…’

Two months passed and you didn’t reach out to Cecilia. You could see some changes in your life generally. You could tell you are growing in the knowledge of Christ.

Cecilia called you, one evening after work. She had missed you so much and pleaded with you to let her spend the night with you. Her voice stirred something raw. Your hands tremble as you hold the phone. Images of the bedroom scenes flash across your mind. You see her everywhere. In the room, in your kitchen, on the rug. You end the call.

‘Jesus.’

Then you heard voices.

‘It’s just for one night. Guy, you have to release this tension o. It’s not good for your health.’

‘Why would God allow you have these urges if they don’t need to be expressed. Stop being too hard on yourself.’

‘Just let her come for the night. You’ll just cuddle her, that’s all.’

But in between the voices, you heard a voice you recognized so well.

‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are bought with a price. He who knew no sin became sin for you.’

The phone rang again. You stared long and hard at it. The other voices returned, overshadowing the truth. Can you just see her one more time? No. Flee.

In your mind, her hands moved from one part of your body to the other. You stood up from the bed, entered the bathroom and leaned on the sink.

‘Sin shall not have any dominion over me. My body is dead to sin. The life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who gave himself for me. Sin has no right to reign in my mortal body.’

The urges dissipated. The phone continued to ring. You returned to the room and picked up the phone.

‘Cecilia, I am not interested. Don’t come to my house again please.’

She hissed and ended the call.

Your eyes widened. ‘Oh my God, what just happened. Did I just say No?’

****
…Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ….2 Cor 2:14.

Remember the chorus of the hymn ‘Yield not to temptation’?

Ask the Saviour to help you
Comfort, strengthen and keep you.
He is willing to aid you.
He will carry you through.

Each victory makes us stronger.

I am reminded of a brother said to be struggling with smoking. The struggle continued while he kept focused on renewing his mind and developing his spiritual walk.

Then one day, the strong urge to smoke came. He picked up the cigarette with trembling hands, reminded himself of who he was in Christ and his dominion over sin. The urge stayed. He placed the cigarette to his lips and immediately, he removed it and threw it to the floor and stepped on it and said.

‘I am the righteousness of God in Christ!’

That was the end.

Do not ever believe you have to struggle with sin all the days of your life. That sinful habit no matter how small it seem should not have control over you. It starts by believing that you will see freedom in that area. We are in charge. Sin lost its hold over us on the Cross.

As you keep walking in the Spirit, you will not fulfil the desires of our lustful flesh.

Hot temper, rage, selfishness, deceit is not your nature. Stop accepting what you are not.

Stop saying, ‘That’s how I am’ when you know it’s not part of the nature you have received.

Look at the mirror again. See what the Word says about the real you. The real you is joyful, patient, loving, peaceful, gentle, self controlled.

The real you does not keep records of wrong, it is not boastful, it is not easy provoked, it does not think evil of others, it is not envious, it believes the best and hopes for the best. You may not have seen all of these manifest, but you will if you stay with the Word long enough.

We have a new wardrobe now. Every item of your new life is custom made by your Creator. With God’s label on it. So put it on…

2 Cor 4 v 11 says we are always delivered to death so that the life of Christ might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. As we come face with face with temptations and through the Spirit, take our stand against it, a greater degree of the manifestation of Christ is revealed through our bodies.

Brethren, sin, in whatever form, shall not have dominion over us.

Related: Can a believer stop watching pornography?

7 helpful verses to overcome sexual sin

Ten powerful scriptures for your spiritual growth.

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