Wrestling Sin

6 05 2011

Every person struggles with sin. Whether the sin be lust, jealousy, greed, impatience, discontentment, anger, or one of the countless other sins that we commit against God. Unfortunately, our battles with sin rarely end with the decisive victory we desire. The struggles with sin seem to be an endless wrestling match where once we pin sin to the ground with apparent victory, sin deftly sweeps its arm under our legs and leaves us lying flat on our backs. Needless to say, the ongoing fight against sin produces many moments of frustration. Many times my heart resounds with Paul’s words in Romans 7:24 “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” When will victory over the flesh finally arrive? We know complete victory comes with our glorified bodies. But what do we do in the present? What can I do to wrestle sin?

I am amazed at how I can simultaneously hate and love sin so much. I wish I could put sin to death permanently. But for now, here are some of my current thoughts on the daily wrestle with sin.

1. Daily confession. I need to realize that this is a daily battle that will not be won with a single victory. Therefore, I need to humble myself before God and confess my sin knowing that He is faithful to forgive. (1 John 1:9)

2. Enjoy God’s promises. Cling daily to the numerous promises God has made to His children. Anticipate with great desire the fulfillment of His covenants. Use these promises to forsake the sin which provides little/temporary satisfaction for God who provides eternal satisfaction. (2 Peter 1:4)

3. Reflect on daily expressions of grace. God bestows grace upon me in an abundant way every single day. Writing out a list of that grace has been helpful for me. But I want to constantly remind myself of the little and large ways God shows His grace to me. May I never forget His lovingkindness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

4. Remember the cross. I must never forget what Christ did for me on the cross and the salvation I now experience. “The Power of the Cross” was our church hymn of the month in April. I love this stanza:

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

May I always remember what love God showed me on the cross and the redeeming power of that act. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

This post is the message that I desperately need to preach to myself all the time. I pray that I will wrestle sin with an understanding that the victory has already been won through Jesus Christ, my Lord.


Child-like Wonder of Creation

5 09 2010

I have a bunch of posts in my mind as always, and hopefully I’ll get one down tonight after some studying. I really like this quote that I saw on the Desiring God blog about the possible exultation God has in what we see as the monotonous ongoing of daily life.

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.

But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE.

— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 42 (paragraphing added)

Thinking about creation as a theatrical encore helped add a new depth to the act of marveling at God’s wondrous work. I can imagine the Grace Church orchestra playing for us when Clayton Erb says, “the instruments now play for us.” All while God orchestrates the miraculous act of sustaining the world. How crazy does Hebrews 1:3 “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” become to us when we think of the world with that view?