Failure to resist sin opened up some pretty significant questions for me: why would God give me instant relief from some sins while allowing others to remain? Why not just give me victory over all my fleshly weaknesses so I wouldn’t have any problem in wholeheartedly living for Him?
The answer is choice. Our confrontation with sin in the weakness of our flesh—not the least besetting sin—continually presents us with choices to make. It’s fundamental to God’s plan for us. He has set things up in such a way that, while there is certainly an immediate and absolute aspect of our redemption now, the final redemption our body is a future event.(Romans 8:23) So, even though we have His Spirit as a guarantee, we still have a rocky road to travel. And our choices along this difficult road tell the tale of our faith, or its lack thereof.
God has a solution to besetting sin. So we must never attempt to justify sin in our life—no matter how or when it might crop up. Sometimes we try to blame besetting sin on some sort of character flaw. But that’s not the real issue. Sure it’s a character flaw! But not in the way psychologists might define it—not as something we simply, by virtue of our nature, are never able to overcome.
Each and every one of us who comes to Christ has a deficiency in our character. And though it may take years to work through the difficulties resulting from such weakness, it’s important to understand that God never meant besetting sin to be a lifelong problem.