Proverbs 18:1 offers great wisdom for all followers of Jesus. It says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” This brings up one major question. What do you do when isolation is forced upon you? What do you do when quarantine and social distancing are now part of your everyday life? Here are six ways to help you fight sin in the midst of what can look and feel like isolation.
Remember You Have A Choice.
We just celebrated Easter, a sweet reminder that we are living in the aftermath of the cross. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, you have a choice. You can choose to sin, or you can choose a different, better way. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says you are a new creation when you accept Jesus, you do not have to go back to the old destructive way of life. Romans 6-8 teaches that, because of the cross, you are no longer a slave to sin! Because of Jesus, you can say “no” when temptation hits. Don’t let the enemy tempt you to believe otherwise.
I am sure you are thinking, “Yeah, I know that already.” But really think, are you seeking Him now? Spend time with Him. Get to know Him on a deeper level in this slower season. When you are tempted to sin, talk to Him and tell Him where you are struggling. In light of the resurrection, Jesus is a living person who is with you. For more help on how to do this well, read Jesus’ example in Matthew 4:1-11.
Know Your Ditches.
While anything is possible, it is likely the pandemic has only highlighted or exacerbated old sin patterns. If you struggle with anxiety, your thoughts might be spiraling unusually fast. If your ditch is anger, maybe you have a shorter temper with your wife and kids. So, know yourself. Spend some time asking, “Where am I most likely to sin?” and write these things down. Know your ditches.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” Said another way? Don’t kid yourself. You are not above sinning. Your flesh is weak and without God’s help, you will fall short. Overconfidence and pride can be your downfall.
Invite other believers into your fight. Being accountable to someone tends to up the ante. Have your community call or text you more often. Make sure they ask pointed questions about your struggles. Let them help you think through things to avoid so you are less tempted to sin. Maybe it’s not watching certain movies or leaving your laptop outside your bedroom? Regardless, faithful accountability can and will help.
The longer you hide, the harder confession becomes. King David, the second king of Israel, experienced this. In Psalm 32:3 he writes, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” The lesson? Don’t conceal your sin. Bringing sin into the light removes its power. So, if and when you sin, call those who can help. Other believers can listen, pray, and remind you of the truth of God’s love and the life found only in following him.
Lastly, Surrender. The Holy Spirit is at Work.
Ultimately, your fight against sin is less about you doing something and is more about participating with the Holy Spirit who is already at work. Stop striving. This is never what God intended for you. You have the power of the living God dwelling inside you, the very same power that raised Jesus from the grave! He will not leave you to struggle on your own. Listen to the Spirit’s conviction and trust in Him. This is the only way you will find victory in the fight against sin.
We know it feels like everything has changed. You haven’t seen your coworkers in a month. You are visiting your parents through glass windows to keep them safe. Even your evening walks now take a zigzag pattern as you continually cross the street to stay six feet away from others. However, if you are a follower of Jesus, then not that much has changed. God still loves you desperately. Jesus is still on the throne. You are still the people of God. And you can still have victory over sin through Jesus Christ.