Help for the Fight
Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, reveals the depth of our sin, beyond action to our thoughts, words, and desires (Matthew 5:21-30). It is a painful mirror to the soul. But Jesus doesn't only want to reveal it, He wants to liberate you from it. And so He calls on His followers to actively pursue the holiness and purity He has promised us - even if it hurts, even if it is embarrassing, even if it makes you stand out in the crowd.
17th Century theologian John Owen famously said, "Be killing sin or sin will be killing you." They are tough words that get to the heart of a tough, but necessary road for those who would follow Christ.
But how do we do it?
Oswald Chambers compared us to mariners sailing along the coast who must constantly watch to avoid hitting the rocks. A fine picture of the vigilance we need. However, what he fails to mention is that the purpose of being on the ship isn't to avoid rocks, the point is to get where you want to go.
The more we are in love with the destination, the more we are in love with Jesus, the more fiercely we will stand vigilant to keep the rocks of lust and anger (and other sins) from sinking our precious ship.
Here are a few articles links and excerpts to encourage you with the right truths, tools, and strategies for fighting the lure of sin and temptation while also prizing the joy of Christ.
Thirteen Practical Steps to Kill Sin by John Piper
#6 Don’t make any plans that open the door for sin’s entry. “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). Don’t prove your purity in a pornography shop or your commitment to simplicity at an upscale mall.
ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust by John Piper
"Cultivate the capacities for pleasure in Christ. One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal. We default to deceit because we have little delight in Christ. Don’t say, “That’s just not me.” What steps have you taken to waken affection for Jesus? Have you fought for joy?"
We Need Friends to Fight Sin by Olan Stubbs
"Maybe the better question is who do we need in our lives? In the face of all the hardships that would tempt us to turn from Christ, the author of Hebrews wisely instructs us that one of the best ways to draw near to Christ is to draw near to his body, the church."
May these articles bless you and equip you to fight against sin and fight for your joy.