Psalms 19:13-14

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Many people fight battles that no-one  knows except them and God. We all fight with something that we call besetting or secret sins. The word besetting means literally to be attacked on all sides or constantly attack or to obsess over. So when one says that they have besetting sins bothering them they are saying “I am being attacked on all sides, all the time.” When a person is critically attacked they begin to respond differently. How?

A. They obsess/worry over how they will escape 

“Will I defeat this again?”

B. They obsess/worry over how they will react 

“Will I mess up again?”

C. They obsess/worry over how others see them when they fail 

“How will they see me?”

Disclaimer: “Secret sins and besetting sins are a real issue in the lives of Christians but through the power of the Gospel and submission to the Holy Ghost, one can have and see real victory. Results may vary from person to person and not all results will be the same.”


Besetting Sins – The sins that you really don’t want to give in to but it seems as if they press you so much that you simply collapse under the pressure. It’s almost like they make it so that the only way out is to actually yield to this sin that’s pressing you. (By the way: those that feel this pressure have put themselves into a press or a vice that they know will cause damage.)

What are besetting sins? I don’t want to give a useless dictionary definition that isn’t real to anyone. I want to be straight up and practical with what is mentioned. As previously stated, a besetting sin is an action/behavior that a person has difficulty overcoming. I see it as the person having a desire to stop but they have extreme difficulty stopping. There are a few reasons why they feel as if they cannot stop but it has a lot to do with the 3 D’s: 

  • Discipline – The behavior in accord with the rules or conduct; behavior that ensures one does not participate in disruptive behavior. 
  • Desire – To wish, long for or crave. A strong urge to or for an object that one believes they need for happiness or fulfillment. 
  • Determination – The act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose. Deciding to follow a prescribed method or idea to achieve measurable success.

What does this mean to me? Let’s look at our scripture quoted above:

Psalms 19:13-14

“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

If we break this scripture down we will find successful keys to overcoming besetting sins:

  1. “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;” – The word presumptuous means unwarranted, wrong, untrue or something void of being right. This portion of scripture indicates that the servant has a natural tendency to do wrong. This verse reminds us to pray for God’s help before we are about to do something wrong. As soon as we feel the pull to do something wrong, we should pause and ask God to help us from doing wrong. 
  2. let them not have dominion over me:” – The word dominion means the power or the authority or reign over. So far, we read in this passage that when we feel the atmosphere change from Godly to ungodly, we should stop and ask God for help. If we don’t stop and get help, these wrong or ungodly desires or sin WILL overwhelm us and pressure us so that we spiritually say uncle and yield to them.  

A besetting sin is one that pressures you and presses your ability to think clearly! When they come up, the devil wants to use this as a tool in his arsenal to make you think that there is no way out. He wants to make you feel as if there is no other choice than to follow his leading into sin. THIS IS NOT TRUE! YOU HAVE A CHOICE!  

Here are three tips to help you overcome besetting sin right now!


In my own life I have found that when I try to figure out something in a time of temptation or pressure I will mess it all up. This is bible actually! Lets look at

I Corinthians 10:12-13 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 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” 

Notice that the bible talks about thinking about being strong and seeing this person being knocked down. Whenever, I have thought that “I could handle it” I found that 9 times out of 10 I was in shock that I had failed God again. You may be more spiritual than me but I’m telling you that there is something to this prideful thinking and falling down. Stop thinking that you can fix or handle this temptation. It has been proven that when humans get into a stressful situation we panic, overthink, overreact and/or blame others. 


If you have ever seen a volcano erupt, there are things that happen under the surface way before you begin to see lava. There is great pressure building up under the surface that causes shifts in the volcano’s internal makeup. If this is not resolved or reversed, the magma will seek the weakest point under the crust to evacuate onto the surface. Once the volcano erupts, there is nothing that will stop it before it causes irreparable damage. Everything that the lava touches will burst into flames and be destroyed without any thought or effort. 

Likewise, if we fail to remove ourselves from a stressful or highly volatile situation we will develop pressure under the surface. We get angry and frustrated with no Godly means to dissipate it to the Lord. When this happens, we will find or respond to the simplest thing and release our hot displeasure at it. This will cause them to become fired up at our fiery rage and destroy everything that we have spend a lifetime building. 

I remember once I was upset at a situation at work between a couple of co-workers. The situation wasn’t properly resolved which caused pressure in my mind. I did not give it to God and I began to meditate on that situation but more on the anger that I felt. I actually began to practice what I would say or do to the other party. I was actually giving place to the devil and wrath. When I got home, I expected my family to automatically know that I had a bad day and go out of their way to make me feel better. Obviously, that wasn’t the case so that pressure began to built to critical and unavoidable levels. Then my son did something small that I normally wouldn’t even entertain but today, it was too much to deal with in my house. I blew up at him without a cause, then when my wife confronted me, I set her on fire and we were both dangerously spewing lava flows of anger. After about 20 minutes, the lava cooled and I saw the damage and destruction that I caused. Taking a minute to communicate my desire for a time to cool off would have prevented this destruction. The last thing that you want is your family being afraid of when the volcano is going to blow. How’s your volcano?


I release that each person has different levels of tolerance. Some people cannot deal with profanity while others can be around it and remain strong for God. Some people cannot even be around alcohol while others can work in a facility that sells it and they have no problem with it. Why? They may have a direct line to their Calvary! What does this mean? 

Knowing that I have all the host of Heaven at my distress call gives encouragement and strength. Those that have a very close relationship with God seem to have very little personal problems but those that have a bad relationship with God seem to have all kinds of trouble. 

I remember one military story that I heard a few years back of a platoon that got cut off from their unit. This small 30 man unit left to go out on a patrol that led them right into the heart of a 10,000 man division of armed enemy soldiers. They had no idea that they would face such an enemy that out numbered them almost 300 to one. They encountered a scout that gave away their position and the attack began. The battle was so ferocious that 5 men were killed instantly and 10 were injured. The platoon leaders began to call for artillery strikes and air strikes to kill the wave after wave of enemy soldiers approaching their position. They knew that if the help didn’t come, they would be destroyed! So the leader began to teach every soldier in that area how to call for help just in case he was taken out. This would prove to be a great asset because the only soldiers that remained unharmed were the 10 junior soldiers that had just joined the unit. When the Calvary came to rescue them, the junior soldiers embraced the senior member of the Calvary as they began to look around at the carnage that they were apart of bringing. They had killed over 90% of the 10,000 man division. When the remaining members of the unit were asked how were they so successful in this great victory. Their response was “We were in constant contact with Our Calvary. We owe our lives to Our Calvary!” 

Likewise, the enemy wants to utterly destroy us. John 10:10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The only way to overcome besetting sins is to look to Calvary and plead for help to fight an enemy that overwhelms us 300 to one but I John 4:4 says “…because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” No matter how hard the enemy fights us, we have strength with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In tomorrow’s devotional we will cover the dangers of secret sins and how we can say Yes to telling them No. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie. 



  1. Great message I especially enjoyed the soldier story how the Jr soldiers over came from staying close to calvery thanks so much
    Plus just pray for us me and the hubby going through mess not the kids stuff our own


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