There are cases where you’re temped by something and you can just stay away from the temptation. Like if you have a hard time resisting crack cocaine, well, then stay away from your friends who do crack.
Things are totally different when you can’t remove yourself from the situations where you sin a lot. Like if your family is totally annoying, and that causes you to sin, well you can’t just leave them. You have to deal with your sin.
We go through life reacting. But we don’t do a whole lot of strategizing.
If you’re a coach of a football team, if you don’t understand your weaknesses, you’ll get into a game and people will expose your weaknesses and you’ll lose.
A good coach during a game will say something like, “Oh, darn we’re losing. Why?” First he must identify the weaknesses in the team. Then he has to come up with some sort of strategy.
Billy sucks at linebacker today, I’ll replace him with Gary, who isn’t great, but hopefully will play better than Billy today. And this week during practice, I’ll have Billy work on whatever he’s screwing up.” And maybe next year we’ll try to sign someone who is better than Billy.
It’s the same thing with us.
We go around life losing all the time. But we don’t do anything to stop losing.
Whenever I talk to Sally, I get annoyed and want to punch her in the face. So what is it about me that causes me to sin? Not her and her stupid face. Is it my lack of love, is it impatience, is it a lack of self-control? How do I gain these things?
Man, she’s so stupid and she keeps rambling on about how awesome Twilight is. Wait, I’m losing here. What can I work on during the week so when I see her again, I won’t want to punch her in the face?
So what do we do?
First identify the situation where you keep sinning. It maybe something like getting upset when unexpected things come up, or it could be when certain people come around.
Make these things a separate line item in your prayers and stick these elements in your prayers…
“God, whenever this happens: _______, please help to me have: _______.”
What you’ve done is:
When a child approaches their parent and says something like “I’m having problems with math homework, can you please help me?” It’s hard for a loving parent to turn that down.
…You get help with your immediate homework, you grow in your understanding of the subject for later, and your relationship with your parent is strengthened.
Humility is the key to all of this – because it’s about your relationship with God. That’s where it starts.
Our motivation to change comes out of out of love for him, not cause we just haphazardly want to be a good person for our own sake. We might as well pray to Oprah if that’s the case.
So spot your weaknesses, but just as important, turn to the one that can help you with it. Your relationship with him is what will help you deal with your weaknesses.
EPH 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Take time to pray: Ask for wisdom to identify and find solutions for your weaknesses, and then ask for help with those weaknesses.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Whichever one you need to work on