How to overcome your most important spiritual weakness

No doubt you’ve heard the quote by D. L. Moody, “Sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin.” This suggests our most important weakness is the one that keeps us out of the word of God. What is that one spiritual weakness for you and how can you overcome it?

Recalling for a moment that we’re considering the subject our weaknesses so we can improve our quiet time, the biggest spiritual weakness we face is that we are inconsistent in personal time in the Word of God. I’m sure, like me, you already know the reasons you should be in the word of God, but I personally find it more beneficial to ask why I resist having this time in the Word of God. What I find is that there are two main reasons I am not consistent in bringing my soul under the authority of the word of God.

1. My heart is a safe haven for sin

You probably saw this coming in the first paragraph. Moody was correct, if we are harboring sin, we will avoid the potential for conviction. Why? Simple. While we know sin is bad, we still love it, and what we love we protect. Frankly, it takes massive courage and an overwhelming commitment to the glory of God to face up to this reality. But unless we face up to it, we will not grow.

While we know sin is bad, we still love it, and what we love we protect Click To Tweet

You might already be able to identify something you are holding on to. If not, how do we get specific? Ideally, we need to examine our hearts and ask ourselves honestly what is. But our heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9) so we may not actually get an honest answer at this point. So here’s another idea. Head to one of the “sin lists” in the Bible and for every point, ask yourself if you are can think of any specific instances of each of these that you are harboring. Try Ephesians 4:20-23 or Colossians 3:5-4:1 or Mark 7:20-23 as starting points. Write down what it is and who it is against. Is it public? Do others know? If so, it will take additional work (stay tuned).

2. I don’t think I need God’s help

One of the things I’ve found in my own heart is that my pride wants to keep me independent. I can do this, and I don’t need God’s help. In other words, when I don’t find some specific sin that I’m harboring, I take the reverse position and tell myself that I’ve got it all together. I don’t need God. This is very subtle. It isn’t manifested in what we would generally think of as an evil desire. Instead, it is a lack of good desire. In other words, when I don’t desire God, it is generally because I don’t think I need Him, and therefore I don’t want Him.

When I don’t desire God, it is generally because I don’t think I need Him, and therefore I don’t want Him Click To Tweet

How to overcome your spiritual weakness

The hardest part is to identify what it is that keeps you from bringing your heart under the authority of the word of God. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself why. “Why don’t I want to pray?” It might take a few minutes of reflection to work out what it is.

Once you’ve identified this spiritual weakness, the next step is simple but difficult. Confess that to the Lord as sin (1 John 1:9). When we recognize spiritual weakness for what it is and submit it to God as sin, it breaks the power of that sin and we are able to re-engage with the Lord. This re-engagement is not because we’ve now got it all together, but because of the kindness, mercy, and faithfulness of God through Jesus Christ to forgive us for even these simple sins, transform our desires and lead us back to Himself.
When you’ve confessed, thank the Lord for his mercy and forgiveness to you. Thanksgiving is the Lord’s will for you (1 Thess 5:18). Now you are free to bring yourself fully under the authority of the word of God.

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