I Lift My Eyes

Stuck in Sin

November 7, 2022 / Ben Wishall

This week, Elder Candidate Ben Wishall kicked off our newest series, I Lift My Eyes, and preached from Psalm 38.

  • The outward expression of our sin is the result of a heart pursuing something other than God. Repetitive, besetting sins are particularly challenging because when we return to the same sin over and over it puts up walls in our heart around that thing and we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate to that place. When we return to that sin we step back into that darkness and away from the sanctifying presence of God.
  • Theologian D.A. Carson helps explain what is happening in our heart when we live in unrepentant sin, “No one is more miserable than the Christian who for a time hedges in his obedience. He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures, and he does not love Christ enough to relish holiness. He perceives that his rebellion is iniquitous, but obedience seems distasteful. He does not feel at home any longer in the world, but the memory of his past associations and the tantalizing lyrics of his old music prevent him from singing with the saints. He is a man most to be pitied” Trying to live with one foot in each world will alienate us from both and make us miserable.
  • We have a great high priest who will always respond and receive us when we approach the throne of grace. God formed us, he breathed life into us, he loves us unconditionally and he wants to help us overcome our sin. We need God and we need each other to overcome besetting sin in our life and walk in the joy of Christ.


  1. Ben shared the idea that behind our sins are one or more of the Source Idols of Comfort, Control, Approval, and Power. Which of those four Source Idols do you resonate with the most?
  2. Galatians 6 tells us that our responsibility as Christians is to bear with one another in gentleness. Which of the source idols is the hardest for you to understand or relate to, that could make it hard for you to be gentle or patient with someone who struggles with that idol?
  3. Ben explained that one of the reasons besetting sins can be so hard to overcome is because we have built up walls in our heart to block out the light and protect our sin from the sanctifying power of God. Is there an area of your life that you are keeping behind that wall?
  4. Ben talked about mankind – about you – being the pinnacle of God’s creation and that God is always ready to help his children that he loves. Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us that we have a great high priest in Christ that is an advocate for us and stands ready with grace and mercy. Do you find it hard to approach God when you are in the midst of besetting sin? Do you believe that God loves you exactly the way you are today? If not, what is it that makes you feel unlovable? If you are confident in your standing in Christ, confident in his love even when you struggle, what words of encouragement do you have for others in the room?