Pleasures of Sin

Dear Reader,

I want to share a testimony of how I was set free from chronic sinful behavior. Maybe my testimony will help others.

Back in 1999 my Christian friend Ed and I chatted with an elderly Christian lady whom we had never met before. She said, "Something happened to one of you about six months ago." Ed said nothing came to his mind, but I was all ears! I told her, "That's when I started to become a disciple!" I had not realized that this is what happened six months previously until that moment because I had forgotten about Luke 14:26. She asked me to tell her about it, and here is the story.

Jesus said,

Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

In the Fall of 1998 I came across Luke 14:26 (above), and could not get past that verse. I didn't understand how to hate our family members and ourselves  in light of the fact that we are to love everyone, including our enemies! So I said, "Lord, I don't understand this verse, but I want to be a disciple, so please give me the appropriate hatred for my family members and my own life so that I can be a disciple.

He started showing me that I already hated my family members' unbelief in Christ and worldliness even though I really care for them individually, but He also started showing me all the ways that I have deluded myself to justify my selfishness and pride and sins of the flesh. I realized that I was just a lukewarm Christian!

James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

The Lord then showed me many ways I had deluded myself or justified myself to others and to myself. So, like Paul in Rom 7:24 (Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?), I sought the Lord to set me free from this body of sin. That's when He told me to renounce the pleasures of sin. I checked my computer Bible for "pleasures of sin", and found Hebrews 11:24:

Heb 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Then I check the computer Bible for "renounce" and found this:

2 Cor 4:1-2 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

HERE'S THE KEY WHICH SET ME FREE FROM MY ABIDING SIN: He showed me that I needed to renounce the pleasures of sin, which only last for a season until they would snare me again, so that I could enjoy the pleasures that are at God's right hand, which last forever! He also put the prayer in my heart that He would release the power of the cross and resurrection of Christ in my life so that I might be completely dead to sin, and completely alive to Him through the Lord Jesus.

So I prayed, "Lord Jesus, in Your name I renounce all the pleasures of sin, and ask that You would remove them from me completely! Please release the power of Your cross and resurrection in my life so that I can be completely dead to sin, and completely alive to the Father in You."

The result? Immediately I knew that I had been set free!!   I have never been so free from the things that used to distract me from the Lord and waste my time and bring me into sin and condemnation, and I am actually doing what He wants me to do more than ever before!! It's been a tremendous breakthrough!! There's probably a lot more purification to do, but the rewards of the Lord's presence in my life are so great that I am hungering for more purification.  It has now been six and a half years since I renounced the pleasures of sin, and I have not fallen to the 'sin that so easily beset me' even once!!!

John 8:34-37:
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

For some people the pleasures of sin are gambling winnings from the past. For others it is a drug high. For others it is a moment of lust. Those are the "fond memories" that continue to drag us back into the sins which so easily beset us. They are like worms the devil uses to get us to bite the hook of sin But when I renounced the pleasures of sin, the worm was removed from the hook of sin, and I no longer am drawn by the pleasures that used to snag me regardless of how I resisted or confessed or bound spirits or anything else I tried.

This key of renouncing the pleasures of sin has been so liberating for me, that I want to share it with as many as possible. That's why I am sharing this testimony with you. I hope that this truth which I have never heard taught in the 23 years since I was saved may be the key to set many others free.
I realize that my telling of this story may raise questions or need clarification. Please feel free to ask any questions which arise.
Thanks for listening, and God bless!

PS:  On the day that I was set free I said, "Lord, I have been born again for twenty-two years now.  Why did You take so long to set me free?"  Very clearly He spoke to my heart and said, "So you would have compassion on others who have struggled unsuccessfully for years and years against abiding sin."  That was good enough for me, and I hope it encourages you, dear reader!