SPECIAL NOTE: Before studying this outline, we strongly suggest studying the lesson entitled: HOPE FOR YOUR CHALLENGES, as it is a preface to this specific challenge

Words we don’t like to use!
What are they?
What causes them?

Let’s define the word "addiction":
     "Given over to a pursuit, habit or practice".

What about the word "compulsion"?
     "An irresistable impulse or tendency to perform an act".

As you can see we are dealing with things that overtake lives in individuals and become what we term a "life dominating sin".

What is a "life dominating" sin?

Before we can effectively answer that question, we must define "sin". According to the Word of God "Sin is the transgression of the law". That’s the generic or overall definition. But we can break that three-letter word into three actual categories of sin. In the Bible there are many places where the words iniquity, transgression and sin are all used in the same context or thought structure of that text. Let’s look at Psalm 51:1-2 as an example:

"…According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin."

In this verse we see three words identifying various forms of "sin". So what do these words mean? Here are some definitions that may help you.

The "sin" in the thought structure of this text means a "stumbling" or an "accidental mistake". You knew after you did it that it was the wrong thing to do, but you had not planned ahead of time to do it. In fact, you may have had a habit of this in the past and thought you had been freed from this habit. Now it pops up unexpectedly and you’ve "sinned".

The "transgression" however, is almost the opposite. Here you knew very well that you should not do a certain thing, but you purposely planned to go ahead with it anyway. This can be in an area of cherishing certain thoughts, which lead to wrong words and ultimately to wrong acts.

The actual act is thought out or planned ahead of time.

"Iniquity" is quite a different thing. This is your natural bent to do things your own way. We were born in iniquity. We are self-inclined. This is due to Adam’s sin, and only the blood of Jesus and His work in our hearts will eliminate that in our lives. We can do nothing about this by ourselves except be willing to ask Jesus into our lives, letting Him work in our minds and hearts. He does the changing as we allow.

The Bible says:

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." (Jeremiah 13:23)

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;…" (Isaiah 53:6a)


But listen to what our Lord tells us He will do:

"’This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’" says the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.’" (Jeremiah 31:33)

God, the Father, laid on Jesus, the Lamb of God, all of our iniquities or tendency and bent to go our own way. You’ll see that in the rest of the verse in Isaiah 53:6:

"…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

What beautiful promises we have!! Now let’s get back to the definition of life dominating sins.

These particular sins involve anything that controls our thoughts and behavior. Some examples could include:

These sins are so easy to slide into and nearly impossible to overcome without complete trust in God and a willingness to be accountable to Godly human beings. They are strongholds or areas of our life that have been given over to wrong ideas or ways of thinking. It gives our archenemy, Satan, the legal right to take over in those areas, which would ultimately destroy us if there was no deliverance.

Normally, people do not want to talk about these areas of their lives and often deny that they exist. There is a tendency to keep them locked away in the deep recesses of the mind. This really means that anyone controlled by these behaviors is in the center of an incredible battle fighting for the freedom to be able to comprehend spiritual truths, effectively pray and achieve balance in life. That person’s mind is the battlefield.

Where do "life dominating" sins get their origin?

Life dominating sins often have their origin in unmet expectations throughout life. This can include relationships, jobs or career, or personal achievement. Key principles, which are violated center around trust, forgiveness and humility.


Trust – because we may have come to believe we cannot completely have faith in or believe in anything or anyone – not even God.

Forgiveness – because we tend to be unforgiving of others and cannot accept God’s forgiveness of ourselves. The Bible is very clear that forgiveness needs to be complete and unilateral; not dependent on anyone accepting or rejecting our forgiveness or request for forgiveness.

Humility – because we are naturally full of pride and self-centeredness. Humility is knowing and accepting that we do not have the ability and power to solve every problem. The Scriptures tell us that without God’s power we are powerless.


How Does God View My Challenge?   Where is the Hope?
Does God Have a Plan for Me?   How Do I Implement His Plan?

It is suggested that if this is your first time through this lesson, that you work through the above links in the order they are given as there is a sequence. For your convenience, these links are offered to give you faster access for repeated reviewing.

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