I find that there are really four things
that prevent us from continual stumbling after being reconciled with Christ.
1. Being willing to 'give up' our sin
2. Believing that we 'don't have to sin' anymore
3. Heeding to the Holy Spirit's conviction before we again commit a sin
4. Strengthening our distaste for sin and recognizing the pull of temptation...
God is Forgiving; but sin seems to always be facing us. What can we do? Fristly, we must truly be willing to give up the sins of the past. A lot of times we do not do this; we say that we want to change, but we are only afraid of the consequences, and do not truly give up the root of our sin. In Christ our desires must change. If we do not surrender our desires to Him, we cannot expect to change our ways. Surrendering our desires to Him, means no longer letting our fleshes rule over us. Secondly, we must believe that "we do not have to sin". We are new creatures by the blood of Christ. A person must believe 'that they no longer have to sin'. Sin is like a Master, and in the past we were servants to sin, but by Christ we no longer have to remain in our shame, nor does sin have to rule over us. Believing that is a big step to change, because the past can haunt us and tell us we 'are still' who we used to be, but we must learn to disregard those lies, and remember that we have a new Master, and He is Christ. We are made Holy, new, and blameless in Him, and in Him we find our new Idenitiy, we are given a new name...
Thridly, we must heed to the Holy Spirit's Conviction in our lives. According to the Bible, there is always a way of excape from temptation, which means when we do sin, we have "chosen" sin over the way of excape. If a person never seems to feel previous conviction before their sin, they are in need of deep prayer to receive the Holy Spirit. For if a person has the Holy Spirit living inside of them, they "do" feel conviction before they act in sin. An important grasp on change and domanance over the flesh, is to not only "be aware of the conviction of the Holy Spirit", but to learn to "listen to it". A lot of the wrong choices we make, are because we rushed into sin, or chose not to listen or heed to the way out. Fourthly, we must truly grow in our distate for the world, sin, and pleasing the flesh. We must truly see the evil in what we do, in order to stop doing it. We must recognize the pain that it brings. One reason that some of us continue to sin, in the same area, over and over again, is because we never learned our lesson the first time. The heartache, and the distate has never truly taught us to hault before making the same choice over and over again. Satan likes to blind us to the fact that we never get what we want from sinning. He wants us to forget how we felt after we have sinned, and he wants us to only think about "the feeling" or "how good the sin felt", he doesn't want us to remember how we felt afterward, or how God feels, or felt about what we had done. God has already freed us from the chains that hung around our necks and bound our hands and feet, but we go look back at them and think to ourselves "oh that was fun", or "that sin was actually not so bad", and we pick "back up" those chains, and "we" "put them back around our neck, and lach them onto our wrists and ankels. God frees us, but we chain ourselves again, and once we realize what we have done...we go to God and ask Him to remove them again. If only we would not look back at those chains, and if we happen to come across them again, instead of picking them back up, kick them into the dust. Be Strong Siblings, God is God, and may You grow a true distate for the sin of the past.
Another important aspect to change, would be a replacment of desire or thought. Ask God to give you His pefect thoughts on what is pure, good, lovely, and uplifting for your life, build your actions upon these things and become so consumed in God's way, that the old ways are not longer as appealing. God's ways are such as these; He wants to present you blameless and pure before Him and others. God strokes your hair and prepares for you a white robe of beauty and righteousness. You have always been wanted by Him, worthy of His pursuit, and usable for His glory. May this fall only be a reminder of the ugliness and unsatisfaction of sin, and the Goodness of God. Fill your mind and time with spiritualy uplifting activites, entertainment, fellowship, and thoughts...Merciful is the Lord! may You be strengthened in His might.