DayBreaks for 9/03/19: Getting to the Root of the Problem
NOTE: Galen is on vacation for the next couple weeks and may not respond to any comments until he returns on 9/9/19.
From the DayBreaks archive, September 2009:
I am privileged, by the nature of what I do, to be able to be around and with people who are struggling with life and faith issues. It is very intimidating, exhilarating and challenging at the same time. There are many times that I don’t have a clue about what to say or what to do – so I just always try to do what I think Jesus would do or say at that time. I’m sure that there are plenty of times when I get that wrong, too, but I try, as I’m sure you do, too.
I try to deal with my sin. Sometimes, I’m successful. Often, I’m not. And even when “I’m” successful, it isn’t me, but the Spirit that wins the struggle. I don’t let the Spirit do enough and I’m sure that’s the problem. I wrestle with sin in my own strength rather than turning the temptation over to the Spirit to squash. For some foolish reason, I think I can do a better job of wrestling with the sin than the Spirit can, right? But is that really true that I think that way, or is it merely that I want to not expose the Spirit to the sin because I want to nuzzle up next to the sin and indulge it yet again? Is that not the nature of our temptation? Keep God away from it so I can stay close to it. A recipe for disaster if there ever was one.
I recently was watching a video with Chuck Colson and Rick Warren and they were talking about the practical living out of Christianity and the struggle with sin. At one point in the video, one of them (I think it was Rick), made the comment that we need to deal with the root problem when it comes to sin. Far too often, what we do is more like mowing the grass or pulling off the top of the weed of sin – and expecting the plant to die. Anyone who has tried that in their yard will be quick to tell you that unless you pull/kill the roots, the weeds will be back again in a furious hurry.
I fear that all too often our attempts at repentance are rather weak. I fear that all too often all we are doing with the sin in our lives is “mowing the grass” instead of pulling out the sin by the roots. There’s this insidious thing inside of us, the struggle perhaps that Paul alludes to in Romans, where a part of us really wants the sin to die and be gone because we get sick and tired of it at times, but there’s also the part of us that revels in the sin and wants to taste the forbidden fruit one more time…and another…and another.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – Romans 8:12-14 (NIV) This passage makes it pretty clear: the misdeeds of the body must not be trimmed back, but put to death. And we must join with the Spirit in this endeavor: “If by the Spirit If by the Spirit YOU put to death the misdeeds…” It isn’t just the Spirit – I must join in the killing. But I certainly cannot kill the weed of sin without the Spirit, either.
Isn’t it about time we started pulling our sin out by the roots?
PRAYER: We struggle to even want to do what is right, Lord, and when it comes to putting to death the misdeeds of the body, we confess that we cannot possibly do it without Your Spirit! Incline our hearts to instinctively turn first to You in times of temptation that we may receive the leading of Your Spirit in the struggle against sin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>