Why Is the Pull of Sin So Strong?

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner | 04.02.12
Twitter: @KimberlyWagner7


If you’ve been reading my series of blog posts on worship, you know that I summed up worship in two words: Loving God. That sounds a little simplistic, but actually there’s nothing weightier than this. We’ll never reach the depths of loving Him!

The topic of loving God could fill a book (and has), so I won’t wade too far in. But let me throw out a few thoughts, and then challenge you to run with it and discover more about loving God.

A few years ago, I was leading a high-school Bible study group, and one night several of the students started getting honest about hidden sins. They expressed two things: sincere brokenness and complete frustration. They were broken over their sin, but angry with themselves that they didn’t seem to be able to get victory over it. They pressed me for an answer to why . . . why was the pull of sin so strong, so powerful? Why did they keep returning to destructive addictions?

The short answer is . . . worship. We worship what we love. We crave what we love. We fill our lives with what we love. We submit to what we love. It’s when we love our sin more than we love God that we return to familiar—even addictive—sins.

If you want to know where your heart is—what you really love—consider what your time, energy, thoughts, and finances are most devoted to. Check out this list to see what cravings are driving you . . . and it will be clear what you love.

When we love God more than we love self, it will show up in how we live moment by moment.
Loving God involves: 

Getting better acquainted with Him
Paul expresses his desire to know Christ more intimately in Philippians 3. This warrior for the faith, prisoner of Christ, apostle and martyr—at the end of his life is still crying out with the heart of a new lover: “I want to know Christ!” He never grew tired of getting better acquainted with his Savior. We can do the same by studying God’s Word.

Learning His ways
The more we learn about how God operates, the more our love and appreciation for Him will grow. Every page of Scripture allows us to see His ways. When we soak in the reality of what was done at the cross—it gives us a greater understanding of His heart. Observing His grace, love, mercy, holiness, and faithfulness throughout history allows us to learn His ways and love Him more.

Listening to His instructions
Communication is the only way to get better acquainted with someone—whether it’s written or verbal—it’s necessary for building any relationship. Thankfully, our God is not silent. He’s provided a treasure trove of communication for us through His inspired Word. He’s given us instructions to hear and obey. As we listen to His directives, we know Him more, and knowing Him increases our love for Him.

Obeying Him
Jesus made it pretty clear that love for God is demonstrated through obedience to Him. Some may shout “Legalism!” when you’re making tough choices, but if you are truly committed to obeying Scripture (not personal preference or traditions of men), then you are walking in love, not legalism.

Which of these areas do you hope to grow in as you worship Him today?


  1. I really want to know Him and get better acquainted with His ways. I feel like the more that I know Him and understand His ways, the better that I could love Him and trust Him. The better I trust Him, the more I would obey Him.

    I've been praying and reading the Bible and pleading with God to open my eyes and help me see Him and to reveal Jesus to me and in me. I'm learning that this is a walk of faith and a whole lot of waiting on the Lord. But, I'm convinced that my help, hope, salvation, etc..must come from Him, so I will wait on the Lord.

    Please keep me in your prayers.
    posted by Jodi C.
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 7:49 am
  2. I am trying to get back to a place of peace & rest in Jesus & in a very good church. I am battling a habit that I had once conquered! I need your prayers. This is keeping me from being all that I can be & I am ashamed!
    posted by Cathy hall
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am
  3. The heart of the matter:

    The short answer is . . . worship. We worship what we love. We crave what we love. We fill our lives with what we love. We submit to what we love. It’s when we love our sin more than we love God that we return to familiar—even addictive—sins.
    posted by Elveria
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9:40 am
  4. I am reading a gospel every two days until Easter. I pause for worship when amazed or convicted.
    posted by Dianne
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:22 am
  5. Jodi C.,

    Just want to encourage you today and praying God will help me find the way to word it right b/c I don't always understand it myself! I see your posts come up occasionally and they so remind me of myself, seeking God but never feeling like I've found Him. It's a frustrating road and I still walk it sometimes. But somewhere along the way God "clicked" something (which I am still learning) and showed me how to choose belief-that sounds weird, and I know only the Spirit has power to teach truth to my heart, but as a believer He HAS GIVEN Him and I have the ability to sit at His feet and not wait for a light from heaven, but cling to and claim and hold and walk in the truth He has laid in front of me. And sometimes I have to stop worrying about whether it feels right or I'm even understanding it all right and just go cling to and wash myself in What I Know of Him, and that it's His job to transform my heart and emotions, I just have to choose to Believe and Obey.

    I hope that makes sense and is a help to somebody! It is a release!!to realize that I don't have to play hide and seek with God, He is there "waiting" to be seen and believed. May He encourage you today.
    posted by k
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:25 am
  6. Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting [g]the members of your body to sin as [h]instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as [i]instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
    If you are finding it difficult in your own efforts to find victory over "addictive" types of sin I would suggest a study of what we have "in Christ" as described in the first 8 chapters of Roman. A respected teacher and Brother in Christ walked me through an expository study with the assistance of a "must read" titled ... the Normal Christian Life by Watcmann Nee... and it's under $10 at Christian Book Distributors
    posted by Michael P. Moser
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:55 am
  7. Thank you, Michael, for mentioning the book. It has great reviews on Amazon. Be blessed today everyone.
    Under God's care we are. ><>
    posted by Josie
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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