How can I control sinful impulses?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Impulse control is never easy. All of us struggle with overcoming sinful impulses. James says, "Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed" (James 1:14). Part ...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Doktor D W Supporter
We are all born in sin. That is, we all inherit original sin. As long as we live in it, we commit daily sins. We leave that sinful nature behind when we accept Jesus as Savior. We are then energized with a Spiritual Nature, compliments of the Holy Spirit. We now have the ability to combat sinful impulses generated by our old sinful nature. How do we do that? By yielding to the Holy Spirit. Where do we learn how to do that? In the Bible. Read Acts 9 through Philemon. Study. Pray. Witness. Reach out in joy!

August 13 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Imag0495 Lynn Willis Obedient Daughter of the High King of the Universe
Whenever I am tempted, and believe me I AM tempted, I immediately pray and lean on the Lord and He ALWAYS delivers me from evil. ALWAYS. Why do I do this? Because through His word He has taught me truth and freedom and strength thusly:

Proverbs 3: 5-8: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 

Psalms 121:1-2: I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

James 4:7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

2 Corinthians 12:10: For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 34:4: I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

2 Timothy 4:18: The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

This is a really good sermon right up your alley right here on Ebible... 

I recommend you read more context of the above passages, and watch this video sermon, and last but definitely not least, TRUST in the word of God because He gives us ALL we need to flourish and be strong, in Him.

in HIM,
p.s. I would also recommend this sermon from Nick Vujicic... really inspiring and deals with HOW to overcome temptation (as he has) with the Lord. Claimed to be Nick's best sermon ever, and that is saying something, and I think it is! Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dn7azfzNYo

September 27 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Cimg1043 Don Whitley Husband, father, grandpa and a Christian.
All of the above make very good points. As christians, we have a promise that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist; 1 Cor. 10:13.

We are human and the human condition is that we are all sinners and desire to love the world and the things that are of the world. In this condition we have no hope of living with God in eternity, but we have the promise of severe punishment. 

God tempts no one; James 1:13-15. We can be drawn away into temptation if we are not constantly on guard. When I think I am strong against temptation is when I usually fail. Stay humble relying on God because we are weak. 

When I respond to temptation it is usually a spontaneous reaction and all I need to do is to stop for a moment and consider that the Holy Spirit is with me. Would I really do this if I believed that God was right there watching me? That answer is no.

Christ came and died by sacrificing himself for our sins because the Lord does not wish that any would be lost; 2 Peter 3:9. When we become Christians by our obedience to what Christ tells us we need to do, we become a new creature in Christ. 

We are still human and we will fail, but we now live for Christ and not the world; John 17:16 & John 15:19. We will strive each day to be stronger in Christ and when we fail, we earnestly pray for forgiveness repenting of that wrong. Because we are no longer a slave to sin, we can overcome with the help Christ provides us.

God bless

January 16 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
I can't control my sinful impulses because I am not strong enough. Jesus said, "apart from me you can do nothing but remain in me and I will remain in you, then nothing will be impossible for you.

I have learned 5 ways to remain in Christ:
1) read all the bible, study and meditate on it daily
2) have personal conversations with God through prayer every day
3) give praise to God for who he is and give thanks for what he is done every day 
4) have intimate conversations with other Christians about my struggles and receive their wisdom, encouragement and strength
5) serve where God has called me to serve, in the church and in the world, on a regular basis. 

When I am remaining in Christ then I am wearing all the spiritual armour of God. I am filled with the Holy Spirit and armed with the Word of God to defeat Satan's temptations just like Jesus did during his 40 days in the wilderness.

Because Satan knows the weaknesses of my flesh, I need to replace my "bad old sinful" habits with "new good righteous" habits. Research has shown that we need to repeat a behaviour about 21 times for it to become a habit. However, I don't think it means that we just have to say NO to the sinful impulse 21 times for it to lose its power over us.

I believe what God would have us do is immediately engage in a righteous new behaviour right after we say NO to the sinful impulse. For me, I recite favourite scripture verses I have memorized or sing along to my favourite praise and worship music. 

Several sinful impulses that plagued my life before I became a Christian (age 28) have lost all or most of their power over me. Thank you Jesus.

I still stumble and give in sometimes but I know the grace of God. As soon as I acknowledge my sin he forgives and washes it away, giving me a fresh start.

Start by focusing on one type of impulse that you want to have victory over and ask God what righteous habit he wants you to develop in its place. Give thanks to God for every small victory and celebrate the big ones. Persevere! This sanctification process takes a whole lifetime.

June 07 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Bryan Naidoo Post graduate and pastor
Only through the word of God. When one has the word registered in his "heart"...he will have victory.
I Corinthians 10:13 says..There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

The "word" is God is faithful and God will not allow you to be tempted more than you are able. The book of James tells us than when we give in to impulses it is because of our own "lust"....when we give in this means we are tempting the tempter.

If a person does not want to give in to impulses simply remind yourself what "The Word" says - God would not suffer you to be tempted more than you are able. Keep reminding yourself. It is like detoxing yourself of all impulses.
I guarantee victory to anyone to stand on Gods Word.

Stay blessed


June 10 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Photo John Moyo Christian youth teacher
The is question is very important, especially for me who has struggled with impulses, sometimes even in inappropriate places.

I have devised an effective way (at least for me) to overcome impulses by realising that impulses are temptations by the devil; therefore I inwardly literally "shout" at the devil to leave me alone, that I am not one his and that he should go back where he belongs- to the dungeons of hell! It has worked for me, it might for you too.

November 27 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Mafaufau Mulipola
Understanding that we are a spirit being, having a soul (mind, will, emotions) and living in a body, I find that what ever we feed the most shall reign the most.

If I feed and focus more on my body, and soul more than I feed my spirit then when those impulses come, of course, I would be very vulnerable.

Galatians 5:16 says Walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of your flesh, the rest of this passage goes onto to talk about how there is a battle between the flesh and the Spirit and then lists the results of what these impulses may result should we act on them. Then in 5:22, it lists the fruits of what should be displayed in our lives. These are the fruits of the Spirit. Like any tree, the more you water and feed it the more fruit will be displayed for all to come and taste and see that the Lord is Good.

So, IF we take time and effort to feed our spirit by prayer, praise, praying in the Spirit, reading, studying and Applying His Word, fellowship with the believers, accountability etc., not only will our shield of Faith (Eph 6:10 -18) increase to quench all the fiery darts (which may come as 'impulse') you will also become more confident as a believer to step out and follow His leading.

At the same time we are doing this, we are also renewing our minds!
Renewing our thinking with the Word of God is crucial!
Paul talks about this in Romans 12:2 don't conform ANY LONGER to the patterns of the world but be Transformed by the renewing of your Mind.

When we meditate on God's Word and get it from our heads down into our Spirit it won't take long for it to be seen in our lives. Word in World out.

You are called to be an overcomer, with God All things are possible.
He said whenever we're tempted He will provide a way out, in other words in every situation where you are tempted there is an EXIT door, and God knows you are well able to walk through that door and out of that situation.
1 Corinth 10:13.

The bible says that Iron sharpens Iron; fellowship and accountability is important. 
Do not isolate from the Body, let's continue to walk in Victory and may the reality of Gal2:20 become a reality in our lives...

Gal 2:20 says 'I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ that lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

God Bless You!


June 11 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Robert Tan Robert Tan M.Div, M.Div, Gospel Preacher & Bible Teacher
There is a series of means to use to control our sinful impulses. 
However, there is one effective simple way.
If you have been baptized into Christ, the following method may be effective for you to control and overcome sinful impulses: 
Always consider yourself in union with the Lord, Jesus Christ, dead toward sin and all its sinful impulses, but alive toward God. Remember your water baptism, which symbolizes the death and burial of your sinful nature together with Christ's death, and the birth of your new nature together with Christ's resurrection. 

Paul's exhortation in dealing with sin:
Rom 6:9-13 ESV
9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

August 22 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

John 11 vs 41 42 Eric NDICUNGUYE
To control the sinful impulses is possible but it requires steadfastness and soberness. Brethren, let's remember this: (1Peter 5:8) The devil always prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour! Mind you the devil uses different schemes(impulses) to befall a child of God.

A sinful impulse yields into a sin and a sin, when it grows, results into death. A natural person (old self) can never control the sinful impulses because he is already enslaved by the sin; he is actually controlled by the power of darkness. We all know when this bondage started-the fall of Adam &Eve(Genesis 3).

But a spiritual person (new creation) can absolutely control sinful impulses; the Word tells us that we have to be very watchful and sober-minded because sometimes the devil tries to confuse us with the spirits of darkness. So we shouldn't just believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are are from God..,(1 John 4:1). 

In this fresh we desire to have/achieve this or that, but it matters how we get it! Here the sinful impulses (or the devil) take chances to tempt us! At this point one is at high risk to be tempted depending on how low he is armed (armors of God; Ephesians 6:10-17).

Remember, Jesus was tempted by the devil, but Jesus overcame all the temptations by replying only with the scripture(Word). Luke 4:1-11. So as Christians we have to be equipped/armed with the Word of God so that in case the devil brings sinful impulses our way, we will not withstand the devil by our own strength but by the power of the Word of God that is in us.

Remember, the Word of God is 1. Living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart(Hebrews 4:12) 2. The Word of God is like fire, and like a hammer that breaks the rock into pieces(Jeremiah 23:29). 3. The Word of God is Truth(John 17:17). Therefore, the Holy Spirit of God uses the Word of God as a sword.

Our Lord Christ Jesus told us that if we abide in Him and His words in us, whatever we wish, it will be done for us(John 15:8). So if we allow the Holy Spirit to govern us there is no weapon that is fashioned against us that shall succeed, and we shall refute every tongue that rises against us in judgment. Thus is the heritage if the servant of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17).

It is the HOLY SPIRIT of God in us who overcomes the sinful impulses by agreeing with the Word of God that abides in us. Bless you all.

July 31 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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