Opposing Sin and Declaring War Against It
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
Sin extended its roots, and controlled the soul, and yet grace overshadows the soul, and its dawn is still lighting in the heart to prevent the flow of sin, but left in us some branches. We have to struggle and be studious in opposing it and to prevent its growth.
We have to put in
mind that sin has power or authority over the children of God, who have His
Spirit and His grace.
If sin inside you is pulling and pushing you to do evil, do not think for a second that you are left alone, having no power to defend you, for the Spirit of God, which is within you, breaks its thorn and defeats its authority. Grace will always be your companion to overcome these lusts, so when the sun rises, darkness will dissipate, and when the day comes, night is defeated. Same when the rays of the Holy Spirit show, and overlay the heart of man, all evil lusts flee away from before the face of God, and cast out all devils, and all lusts which sin has begotten, for grace is light and illumination, while sin is darkness and night. when the Holy Spirit enters, Satan flees away, and when the grace illuminates, sin becomes like smoke.
Do not lose hope for the presence of sin-seeds in you. Remember that Rahab, the harlot, lived among the evil ones, yet her faith and hope saved her. Sin cannot and will not overcome those who have faith in the Lord. Beware of the saying; "These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them? You shall not be afraid of them... You shall not be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little... your Lord God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed" (Deuteronomy 7:17; 21-23).
If you are oppressed by temptation, do not give in lest it conquers you.
Do not fulfill its will, for you did, it shall tear you apart without mercy, but rather cast it out at once in steadfastness and courage, then it will be defeated before you speedily.
You will remain strong and courage, as long as you in charge of yourself, so defend and protect yourself diligently to decrease the desires towards evil, and present before yourself; goodness and virtue.
If you felt a motive inside you toward sin, do not let this feeling be completed in satisfaction, but rather cast out sin immediately and do not accept it. If you accepted the proposal of sin, that can be the key you handed over to the devil to open up the fortress of your heart. As the apostle Paul said in regards to the original sin, which was inherited in our human nature, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:23). This feeling will not be sinful unless you accepted or agreed to fulfill it in action. So, do not allow the deficiencies of your nature to bring forth evil things, and bud into guilt, but rather follow the path of virtue and perfection, not paying attention to the revolt of the body and its noise.
Do not listen to the desires of the flesh, and be inclined to its attractions, but step over these for they are fantasies only, and the Holy Spirit, which is dwelling in you, will give you life and grant you growth in grace.
Sin will never rest, and the old serpent will continue visiting you to deceive and try to attack you by its fatal venom, do not accept its deception and seduction, and never make a treaty with it. Do not allow it to be your companion on the way. Stay away from it, and despise every offer from it, and do not give it a chance to think about it.
Turn your face away from it, and feel sorry for it. Do not leave thoughts and desires under its control, but announce and proclaim war against it, and take heed to God to conquer it under your feet speedily.
Fear sin as you fear the venom, flee away from guilt and sin as you flee from a serpent, and if you fell, stand up and run fast. Never let sin have a room in your heart, and do not burden yourself with a compounded sin, lest it becomes hard to be saved.
Do not sin saying, 'the mercy of God is great', for this a great deception from Satan, belittling the mercy of God, putting in mind the justice of God is near.
By sinning, you deserve a just punishment, if you hurt the divine mercy, who shall shelter you? If the clouds and fog are heavy in the sky, you shall not see the stars, and the light of the sun and the moon will be prevented from your vision. Such is the case when the heart is covered with the clouds of sin, then it becomes dark and no lights will be seen. Smoke hurts the eyes and prevent the light, likewise; sin blinds the vision, and prevent the divine illumination from the heart. Do not allow sin to dwell in your heart, and do not allow Satan and his soldiers to have a pathway into you, lest they find hiding places in you, turning your heart into caves of thieves and criminals. Cast away the evil thoughts and do not allow it to visit you often, lest it makes your desires express it!
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