When I lived in Wisconsin I went through a phase where I liked to garden. I liked the types of flowers that came back every year and didn't require a lot of fussing around. I went out once each spring and removed the dead growth from the previous year, reloaded the wood chips and watched the flowers grow.
What I learned was that my minimal tending was not enough to keep weeds and grass from growing in my garden. I encountered a particularly tough weed year after year. The root on it was very long, and I am certain I never completely got to the bottom of it. I know this because even though I dug down very deep, and pulled and pulled until my back hurt and my hands were green and raw; just a few short days later the weed was back again. Worse yet, that weed soon was sprouting in other nearby places in the garden, usually among the flowers, the good stuff that I wanted to keep. I hesitated to whack away at the weeds that were among the flowers because I would destroy my beautiful garden if I really got serious about eliminating the weeds.
Sin is the same way! Sin is a fast growing obnoxious weed that will not contain itself to one place in your life, it will move in and take over almost before you realize it. It will grow among the good things in your heart and soon you will find it choking off the beautiful things in your life. Your ministry, your joy, your peace will all become overrun by the weeds of sin you entertain.
Obviously, you cannot go on this way. You must weed the garden, you must eliminate the sin. Getting rid of sin requires that you first admit that it is there. Pride and its companions self-justification and rationalization will want to keep you from this critical admission. It is so easy to bypass the admission and want to work on making yourself a better person.
Once you recognize you have it, you have to understand the importance of putting it to death. Then you must believe that you can have victory over it.
The first step to victory is to set your heart on God and His glory. Pray for an undivided devotion to God and a desire to love Him more than you presently love yourself and your sinful habits.
"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed." Psalm 57:7
Have you ever fixed your heart on anything before? I have! When I fixed my heart on a particular thing it consumed me, and I was determined to do anything to have what I wanted. That is the attitude you must develop in your heart toward God. You cannot conjure this attitude or desire up in your flesh or on your own, no way. This is a working of the Holy Spirit in your life! He will accomplish this as you seek to know Him through the Word of God and spend time in prayer. It comes as a result of refusing to tolerate sin in your life; in any area of your life. You cannot decide to tolerate sin this area or that one, there must be a total commitment to eradicate it from your life.
I know, I know...it sounds impossible and it feels like you are defeated before you even start but please believe you are not defeated or hopeless. The Person of the Holy Spirit is living within every believer and He is our helper- He is the Living God residing in your spirit. He is the weedkiller for sin.
The more you apply truth to your heart, the more you desire His working within you, the more you will begin to refuse to obey the sin. Your heart will become a fruitful fragrant home for the Lord your God and your life will be an offering of praise to His holy name!