Thursday, December 08, 2005

I hate everything about you

Although finals week is coming up (which basically means all other aspects of my life stops...except for Narnia with the youth group tommorrow night!) I have recently picked up trying to finish a book I started over the summer but never finished called The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard. In a section I read last night he brought out the point that if a husband and wife are on the verge of divorce but they can find some common ground between them, Lundgaard used the example of ice-fishing (kind of random - I've never gone - do you really think ice fishing could save a marriage? - anyone from Minnesota reading this?), then that common ground can be an oasis from the conflict and possibly fertile ground for reconciliation. But the thing about our "old man" (sinful flesh) and our "new man" (our new sanctified life in Christ) is that there is no common ground. There is never going to be peace between our sinful flesh and our new identity in Christ. This is a fight to the death and the enemy knows that. Do you know that? Do I? Does the way we fight against our sin reflect that knowledge? Would someone ever say that you are a person who daily battles against your own sin? What are you doing today to fight sin in your life? Are you trying to make peace with the enemy or are you trying to kill it?

"for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
Rom 8:13-14

by His grace, for His glory,


Anonymous said...

this morning in my devotions i was reading Rom. 6-7. i was struck by 6:14 "sin shall not be master over you..." it cannot because we are under grace.... but it sure feels like it constantly is winning. the conflict has never felt as real as it does now. Keep fighting, my friend. Fight to win the prize.

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes you try to humanly fight this battle too much. Jesus Christ has already won it for you!! Of coarse that doesn't mean that we never do wrong, but give it to Him and rest in His peace. I think He wants others to see you as a light for Him not constantly in pain! What does God require of us "To do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God". Give it all to Him!

J.R. Freiberg said...

Thanks for your comment.

I agree that at times it is easy to become too focused on personal sin and failure to the point of losing sight of the power of God's grace and glory.

But I do believe that there is a place in the Christian life to be proactive about fighting sin, giving glory to God for the victories He gives us (Phil 2:12-13)

At the same time I believe that there is always going to be a tension in the Christian life of knowing God's standards of holiness and knowing that those standards will never be perfectly lived out until we are in heaven (Rom 8:23; II Cor 5:2-4). I think there is also a place for mourning sin, its offense to God, its affect in our lives, and its affect on others. I beleive this is what Christ was referring to when He said, "Blessed are those who mourn..." (Matt 5:4). But as you pointed out we must not wallow in our sorrow which is why Jesus followed up that statement with "...for they will be comforted". However I fear that too many Christians take God's grace and comfort for granted without ever really grasping how destructive and dishonoring their sin is.

All that to say thankyou for your rebuke. As you can see its given me much food for thought.
Bottom line: what a great God we serve that He can reflect His light on the mirrors of our hearts even when we cloud the glass with our sin.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am from MN, so I would love to resolve the whole ice fishing/marriage saving issue that has been brought up. Unfortunately, I've never been ice fishing, so I guess I am not much help. Thanks for your blogs John. Life is a very serious war against the sin in our flesh and your blog helps encourage me to wage that war. And much agreed, we must wage this war by the grace Christ works in us (Phil 2)!

Tim said...

john, I love that book. the ownes book its basically based on is great too! I just read Thomas Watson's book on sin, and it basically made me feel like junk. good times!