There is a well known parable of the pious monk who served God and did all that he could to live righteously. The devil wanted to make him fall, so he sent the following demons his way; lust, anger, malice, lies, greed, alcohol and gambling, yet he stood firm. The demons then returned to the devil to report that they had failed, they were convicted he was too righteous a man to fall for their tricks. Then the devil taught them his own trick, he called out the monks ‘own demon‘, he told him to inform the monk that his brother had become wealthy and was no longer living a life of poverty. Immediately, the monk heard this news, his heart grew bitter and his sin was evident. His demon? Envy. The devil knew exactly how to trip him up, the demon that would be able to bring the monk down was specific. What is your demon? Do you know it’s name?

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1

The Sin in the verse above is very specific, and it is also personal. It is not a universal sin. It implies that each one of us has a ‘weakness’. Something which easily trips us up, causes us to fall and to stumble. Our own besetting sin. It is personal, and does not have a universal definition. For some, lust may be the snare that entraps them, for some it may be envy, anger, laziness, gluttony, or greed. There are a number of tricks in the enemies bag, but more mercy and grace abounds. The question is this, do you know your demon? Can you see it coming? Have you faced it in the mirror and battled it in prayer? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to teach you how to lay aside your besetting sin?

“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:12‬

Jessica Chinyelu of ‘I am Woman of Purpose’ wrote an article a while back, discussing her struggle with placing people, food and weed above all else, making them mini gods. I admired her candour and courage. I appreciated the fact that she created a platform where women felt free to come as they are but not stay as they are, but more importantly I was happy that she had identified her demons. They say a problem shared is a problem half solved, but some people fail to acknowledge the problem, and that often causes more harm than good. The proverb above tells us that the person who is prudent sees the problem and protects himself from it. He works towards ensuring that the problem does not cause his downfall.

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James‬ ‭1:14-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Paul advised the Hebrews, to identify their ‘besetting sins’ to lay it down so that they may run their race well. He advised that though we may stand and claim not to be fornicators, idolaters or malicious in nature, if food is causing you to sin you must deal with it. If laziness has turned you into a sloth, you must cease from it. James warns just like the proverb above, that the sins of the world may not cause us to fall, but it is that which is so intrinsic to our human nature. It is ‘the sin within’ that is the one that causes us to stumble. It is your OWN demon that is causing you to stumble, not anyone else’s. You need to address yourself. Name an shame your demon today. Remember it has no power over you, for Christ has overcome.

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Until next time. Stay encouraged

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