My Fitness

Saturday, August 17, 2013

foundations for change (life under control week 4 day 2) also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:11-13, ESV)

Think of a situation that you might act in a displeasing and ungodly way. How do you handle it? Let's consider gluttony in my example.

Scenario: I'm not even hungry. In fact, I just ate a very filling meal. There's a chocolate cake though that I just NEED to indulge in or I will be left completely unfulfilled in life. I can't wait until tomorrow. All of my happiness rests on me eating some cake...just one tiny slice that might turn into a big slice, or two, or maybe just the entire cake. I've had a hard day. I deserve it. I don't like my job. My kids or co-workers were mean to me today. I prayed about it and feel that God wants me to eat the cake. And I'm not going to share it because that means less happiness for me.

Principle 1: Consider myself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
I don't have to eat any cake. I remind myself of who I am in Jesus. Gluttony doesn't need to reign in my heart. If I've had a hard day, I should curl up on the sofa and read a Psalm, listen to some Gaelic instrumental music, and maybe light a candle.

Principle 2: Do not let sin reign.
I have a choice. I can let my former self gain greater control by indulging her and allowing her to desecrate the temple of God or I can let the Spirit guide me to a better answer. Maybe I should take a stroll with just me and God. Explain my hard day and let him work within my soul. And maybe when I get back I can have a regular slice of cake to the glory of God and not to satiate my sinful need to find comfort in some idol and not the Great Comforter Himself.

Principle 3: Offer every part of my life to God.
I can symbolically offer the cake to God. Maybe he would tell me to just throw the entire thing in the trash. Am I willing to do that? Or perhaps a better idea (better than eating the entire cake, not better than obey God to throw it away) is to cut the cake up into predetermined appropriate sizes and put them in storage containers. There are ways to escape the sinful desires in our hearts because those desires no longer reign. Maybe I should just stop making cakes if this is a known area of weakness.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (I John 1:8-10)
I've heard many people say things like, "Of course I'm sinner. Everyone is. I'm not perfect. I need Jesus." But when you ask them what specific sin they have committed, they draw a blank. Sure, in the general sense of "sinner" they're a sinner, but they don't truly believe that they sin. They need Jesus to escape from hell not to escape their sin. Take verse 9 to heart: confess your sin. If you cannot articulate your sin, are you admitting it? Are you confessing it? If you think you have no sin to confess since that one time when you were 9 and you took your brother's toy without asking, do you have the Spirit in you? Ask your brother. He'll tell you your sins.

The gluttony scenario I wrote about might seem extraordinary and ridiculous, but it is something I have been through many times. If not cake, then some other food. While I have never eaten an entire cake, it was definitely a temptation. I had a really bad day and I deserved it after all. (please hear the sarcasm in my tone)

Confession does not need to be to a priest in a confessional booth. We already have the only Priest and Intercessor we need and that is the man, Jesus Christ who made propitiation for our sins and advocates before the Holy Judge on our behalf. You may only need to confess your sin to God. You may need to confess to a fellow believer. You will definitely not need to ever deny your sin and lie about it. Find someone you trust, and confess.

My final thought is that confession without contrition is useless. You may as well be bragging. You may need help if it is a sin that you fall into regularly. Get help. But every day is a new day. Everyday His mercies are new. He knows your heart better than you do which is why the Psalmist says "search my heart". However, just because you are blind to your own faults, does not mean that your sins are so righteously lofty! It just means you deaf, dumb, or blind, spiritually speaking. We all have our own personal heresies. The sooner you can admit it, the sooner the Spirit can work on you.

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