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Why Do I Keep Failing When I Try So Hard?

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2024 12:00 am

Why Do I Keep Failing When I Try So Hard?

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 1, 2024 12:00 am

How do we obtain victory over sin?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, March 1st. Does it feel like you've given to the same temptation over and over? You can stop the cycle. Today's podcast explores the question, Why do I keep failing when I try so hard? Lord, why do I keep failing when I try so hard? Amen. How many of you have ever asked the Lord that?

I knew this is the right subject. Why is it that when you try to overcome sin in your life and God knows that you want to, you mean to, you promise to, and you just say, Lord, I'll do anything you want me to do, and you fast and you pray and you beg and you plead and somehow it doesn't work. Is God calloused in His heart? Is it that God's not listening to your prayer? Is God trying to punish you for wrongs in the past by not allowing you to have victory in the present? That's not the way God is.

That's not His nature. So if you and I are asking God to give us victory in some area of our life and we're not having victory, let's just clear the air right now. First of all, it is not God's fault. Amen? So if we can't blame it on God, so if we can't blame it on God, we certainly can't blame it on someone else because nobody, really nobody for the most part, now I'm not going to say that this is an absolute because there are circumstances in which children growing up are forced into situations where they can't help themselves, but for us who are believers, we sin because we choose to.

You say, oh, but now wait a minute. I've been telling God, Lord, I don't want to do this and I'm asking you to free me from this and I need victory and I don't know why I keep failing when I want to overcome this. Why God? But the bottom line is when you and I sin, it is because of a choice we make. Now, why do we make choices that we know, first of all, are acts of disobedience? We know we're going to be miserable with ourselves after we've done it. We know that our conscience is going to sting us.

We know that God's going to be displeased. We know it's going to strike against our own sense of self-worth and self-esteem. And you see, one of the subtleties of sin is that sin always strikes against your own value of yourself. Sin strikes at your self-esteem. It strikes at your sense of self-worth. Well, I've committed this sin, therefore I am.

What? Less than, not worthy, God's not pleased. And so what happens? We turn all of this on ourselves. And as a result, Satan uses this on us in lots of ways. He works on our faith. He works on our self-esteem.

He works on our value of ourself. And so what happens is we get defeated in more ways than we realize. And just because God doesn't come along and wipe us out overnight, we think, well, you know, I sinned and nothing happened. Oh, yes, it did.

It was happening on the inside in a very subtle fashion. Now, God wants to give us victory. He wants us to have victory in our life. But sometimes we tell Him that we really and truly want victory and we really and truly want to do what's right. Well, we do want to do what's right up to a point, up to a point of convenience, up to a point of a certain amount of pleasure, up to a point of a certain amount of profit.

And so, yes, we do want to do what's right up to a point. But when it demands more of me than I want to give, then we turn aside, we sin against God, we go back to Him confessing and saying, Lord, I don't understand why I did this. I'm asking You to forgive me of this, God. Why do I keep failing when I try so hard?

So I want to give you just two reasons, if I can, and I'm not going to spend a long time, but I want to give you these two reasons and let you mull them over in your own mind and heart. The first reason we keep failing when we're trying so hard is incomplete repentance on our part as believers. Now, you can cry all night. You can be sorry. You can feel guilty. You can feel remorse. You can feel regret.

You can feel shame. You can be absolutely embarrassed with no genuine, full repentance because repentance isn't crying. It isn't weeping. It isn't feeling sorry. It isn't being caught. It isn't feeling guilty. It isn't feeling shame. Genuine repentance is a change of mind about my action. It is a change of attitude.

It is a change of my thinking whereby I turn around because my mind has really been changed. I move in another direction so that if I come to God and I tell Him I'm sorry, I'm ashamed, I'm full of guilt, I shouldn't have done it, and turn right around and do the same thing, the truth is I've been full of guilt. I have been ashamed.

I am sorry. I have confessed it, but I've not had complete repentance. Genuine repentance brings me to a state of humbling myself before God and surrendering my right to do that thing, surrendering my choice to do that thing before God so that my mind is so changed about its place in my life, that my mind is so changed that my life is going to move in another direction because I genuinely agree with God and not only having agreed with Him, I make a definite, deliberate decision based on a change in my mind.

Now let's go back to something. You and I can agree that a thing is sin, that it is bad for us, that it is damaging and the consequences we don't want to suffer. We can agree with all of that without complete repentance.

There has to be a change of mind about my desire. And that's why for most people, brokenness is a vital part of genuine complete repentance. That means the breaking of my will and the surrendering of my will to God. You see, repentance isn't just going to change my mind.

Oh, no, I shouldn't do that. But repentance works so deep within the human spirit. And there is such a brokenness that goes on that repentance not only does not want on a surface emotional level, but we lose our desire. That is because we understand and see the genuine consequences of what's going to happen.

It is a deep working level. Now, I can confess to God and confess and confess every single night. That does not mean I have experienced genuine repentance. That does not mean I have had a change of mind about this particular thing in my life. Genuine repentance involves some sense of brokenness where my mind is so changed.

I absolutely do not want that in my life. And when there is genuine repentance, something different is going to happen in a person's life. I really believe that most people honestly and truly think they have genuinely repented when the truth is they've not. Now, I'm not saying that that's all, but I'm saying that is a vital part of one of the primary reasons we ask, Lord, why do I keep failing when you know that I want to do the right thing?

Because, listen, if we are deadly honest now, how many of us have come up and said, oh, God. Now, here's what happens. When God puts the pressure on us, oh, listen, we wouldn't do anything at that moment. Oh, yes, Lord.

Yes, yes, yes. Anything you say, God, just what you want me to do, Lord. Then when the pressure gets off, what do we do? We start backing up on what we say, well, you know, Lord, you understood what I meant by that, God. I mean, you know, then we get to rationalizing it when the truth is it wasn't genuine repentance. Now, we were all upset and all broken up in our spirit and oh, Lord. But the truth is we either got caught or the pressures on so bad or the consequences at that moment are so pressurizing.

We just think, oh, Lord, anything. And then God lets the pressure off and that's what we do right back. What I want you to understand is you've got to surrender it emotionally.

Till you do, it still has its attachments. Now, that's the first part. Lord, why do I keep failing when I try so hard? Number one, incomplete repentance. Number two, an inadequate view of our true identity in Christ. When there is genuine repentance on the one hand and you understand who you really are from God's viewpoint, that you're one of His children, He's living on the inside of you. You are complete in Him. Every need that you have, He has promised to provide. That Jesus Christ is your very life.

That you do not need anything that He will not provide right on time. When you understand that you are inseparable in your relationship to Him and understanding who you are, here's what happens. When you are able to grasp the truth of who you really are in Christ, you begin to understand for the first time that these things or this particular sin over here that keeps bugging you really doesn't fit you. That is, it really should not be a part of your life. You begin to see it as something that is foreign and what happens?

Your attitude begins to change. These two truths must be put together. It isn't enough just to repent, but repentance based on what? Repentance based on my understanding of who I am. You see, if I say, all right, Lord, I yield everything, but I've still got needs.

And Lord, how are these needs going to be met? But if I understand who I am in Christ and who He is within me and that He has given Himself to us in order to make us adequate and complete in every situation, I know that no matter what the need is, I will be adequate to meet it. No matter what temptation comes along, I do not have to yield. I am not under compulsion to yield. I am not under Satan's power to yield. I must choose to yield to that sin against God, knowing it is absolutely foreign to my true identity as a person who is a follower of Jesus Christ. Now, when you put those two truths together, that is a powerful tool against temptation and against the devil.

Understanding that genuine repentance means not only my physical surrender, but my emotional surrender. And understanding who I am and my completeness in Him, and my friend, no matter what happens, Satan will not be able to trip you up unless you just begin to play around and to rationalize and you begin to flirt with sin. Christ has become your life. He is indwelling you.

And your position in Him is what? What you were has been crucified. You've been buried in Him. You have risen with Him. You are seated in the heavenlies with Him. You've been hidden with Him. And He says you're coming back with Him.

It's Him, Him, Him, Him, Him. You and Jesus Christ are now inseparable. You are in oneness with Him. And if God is in Christ and Christ is in you, God is in you in all His fullness to meet every single need. Now, the bottom line of all of sin is this. I want to get my needs met now in my way. That's the bottom line of all sin. I want to get my needs met right now in my way. If Jesus Christ is who He says He is and I believe that He is, I know that my needs have already been met and God will allow me to experience that met need in His given time.

Now, you think about this. This is the wisdom of God and this is not God's disfavor. How in the world is God ever going to teach us that He is sufficient to meet our needs unless He allows us now? After we've said, God, I really want what's best in my life. I don't want anything in my life that would disturb your will and your purpose in my life. How is God ever going to teach us that He's adequate without what? Without allowing us to get into a position, get into a situation, have a need which you and I cannot meet ourselves and allow us the pressure and the tension and a season of going through the pressure of the temptation and the unmet need and God leaving the need there, not meeting it until we learn at that given moment, yes, He is able to meet my need. So I want to give you a little warning. God isn't going to just meet every need just like this just because you say, well, you know, I can experience genuine repentance and I believe that Jesus Christ is my life, all my needs met, don't expect to have any more.

Oh, no. Now, here's what I've learned in my own life. And this is why it's dangerous to preach the gospel. And it is because everything I preach, either God tests me beforehand to prove it to me that it's true.

Usually that's what it is. But once in a while and always at some point or the other after I've preached it, it's like I can see it coming. Well, well, well, this is what you told them.

Now let's see if it works again. And I think every man of God will tell you who preaches the gospel, Satan's going to hit you on the beginning side and on the after side. Because what you and I proclaim to others, God will test in private. So I want to tell you up front, you're going to fail and you're going to fail at times. God understands that. But here's the thing, if you are moving in your obedience toward Him and you're in the process of learning, don't worry about the failures. What you want to do is to be willing for God to put you through whatever is necessary until you begin to experience the victory.

Now, here's what I want you to remember. Confession of sin is no guarantee of victory. And you see, a lot of people claim 1 John 1-9 say, well, you know, 1 John 1-9, we confess our sins. Quote that verse, that's no guarantee of victory. The only thing that guarantees is that you have acknowledged your need of God. And you've acknowledged the shed blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin.

Victory comes when you and I no longer have a genuine desire for that thing. You and I are not free until we are emotionally free. That's why even after a person is saved, oftentimes they have to go through some difficult periods in their life. You know what God's doing? He's cleaning out all the stuff that's been a part of their life all these years. And some of that sometimes we may think, well, God, what have I done? You see, what He must do, He wants to clean you out totally. Because remember, He's exchanged your old life for new life and now He's living on the inside of you.

And He doesn't want the leftover stuff that was a part of your old thinking still giving you a problem. And when you and I begin to understand that Jesus Christ is our life, the most amazing thing begins to happen. There is a sense of fulfillment that you don't need what God doesn't want you to have and the struggle is over. Am I saying that you'll come to some point in your life where you're never tempted again?

No way. Satan will see to that. But I'm talking about those particular areas that you keep feeling defeated again and again and again. Lord, why do I keep failing when I try so hard? Incomplete repentance and an inadequate view of who I am in my intimate relationship with Christ who has made me complete in Him so that all of my needs are met in His given timing.

Now let me ask you a question. What is it tonight in your life that has an attachment to you that you thought you gave up but it's still there and you're still wrestling with it? The first step to getting through it is understanding that you're not through it. That as long as there is emotion, longing, yearning, it still has you as well as you have it. When you're able to let it go and begin to act toward that on the basis of who you are, God begins to heal. And what happens is you can look at that person and no longer want them in the way you used to want them.

Look at that thing, have no desire for it whatsoever. Then you have God's victory. Genuine repentance and an understanding of my intimate, intricate, inseparable relationship with Jesus Christ will give me the victory. Thank you for listening to Why Do I Keep Failing When I Try So Hard? If you would like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-01 05:51:55 / 2024-03-01 05:59:12 / 7

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