As Christians, we are commanded to have honourable conduct, to be blameless before God, to have behaviour that is excellent, to live according to God’s word.
If I truly lived by God’s word, I would engage daily in the battle against my flesh. I would put on the full armour of God, so that I could stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11). I would realize my helpless estate, and I would cast all my anxieties on the one who made me and loves me (1 Peter 5:7).
I would pray at all times in the Spirit, not being pulled away by the internet or friends or difficulties. I would be a walking advertisement of Christ, lifting high the name of Jesus, doing everything to bring glory to his name (1 Corinthians 10:31), and not my own. Pointing others to the cross of Christ should be my mission.
But the truth is, I don’t always live by God’s word.
Whether you like it or not, you are in the thick of a battle against your flesh. You can engage it in, or you can ignore it. It is a life-long battle and will not be over until you go to Christ in glory.
Sin is actively waging war against you – what are you going to do about it?
1 Peter 2:11
“Beloved, I URGE you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
This is what I was hit with on Sunday. Sin is ACTIVE, yet I am complacent, working in my own strength, or lack thereof, my own desire, or lack thereof, to combat it.
We all have sin in our lives. We all walk through seasons of denial, ignoring, excusing, even playing with it.
But God tells us we need to KILL it.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you;
If I do not kill my sin, it will kill me.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
How do you kill sin in your life?
1. Confess you have a problem.
I have a problem with temper. It is short, quick, and can get pretty ugly. I can blame it on any number of things, circumstances or situations. But I am my own person before God, and I am responsible for my own actions. It has taken me until now to REALLY recognize that I have anger issues. God has graciously shown me where it stems from – and it all comes back down to pride and self. When things don’t go my own way or I put expectations upon myself or my children, that’s when the heat starts to rise. And it is wrong.
In these you too ONCE walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
It grieves me to see how I have behaved toward my children, and the words and attitudes I will have to answer for. But I have never been grieved enough to do something about it. This is my issue, my sin before God, and I am willing to KILL it – for the sake of my obedience and relationship with Christ and my family.
2. Get rid of the temptation.
I know what triggers my anger – when I am taking on too many responsibilities and getting too busy, placing too many expectations on myself or my family, when I’m on the computer and the kids are around, or am wasting time online instead of making the best use of my time – any one of these can lead into creating the perfect storm.
So what am I going to do about it? Sarah Mae put out an idea for a Resolution for Mothers, after watching “Courageous”. It addresses some of the areas I struggle with, and the temptations that lead up to anger. I can resolve to do these things – resist the temptation to get on the computer when the kids are around, put away my pride in “doing things” just say no, slow down and enjoy the time I have each day with my children instead of rushing through.
Whatever the temptations may be, they need to be removed. And not just put away, REMOVED. Get rid of it!
3. Pursue godliness.
If you remove temptations in your life, there will be a hole that is just waiting to be filled. As the man who swept his house clean found out, you have to fill that emptiness with something good. And that good is godliness.
Discipline yourself for godliness. Pursue Christ and a relationship with him through his word. Dig deep, study hard, pray continually. Don’t let these spiritual disciplines fall to the way side. Herein lies the key to triumphing over sin – a life focused on the pursuit of godliness.
4. Be accountable.
Get vulnerable. Be humble. Share your struggles with others you can trust who can encourage you and challenge you. You may think you’re alone in your struggles, but you are not. I figured I was alone, the only one who struggles with anger issues. No one really talks about it, because it is such an ugly and ungodly way to behave, especially towards one’s own children! But as I began to talk about it, I found out I am not alone.
We all are in a battle against sin. As believers, we need to lift each other up in prayer, admonish one another with the truth in love, hold each other accountable for our actions.
Get some help. Whether it is a friend or your spouse, you need someone who is going to keep you accountable before God. Be open, honest, and consistent.
Pray down the sin in your life and do not let it get a hold of you any longer. It’s time to KILL SIN.
What areas of sin do you need to KILL right now?