I remember being a college student and sitting in front of the TV listening to the Georgia Governor Zell Miller speak at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was talking about how Senator Kerry, then presidential candidate, was opposed to expansion of military forces. Governor Miller said, “This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, US forces armed with what? Spitballs?” The crowd erupted in a standing ovation. Agree or disagree, I have never been able to forget, “Armed with what? Spitballs?” I think this often what we arm ourselves with when it comes to sin: spitballs.
Sin is deadly, and it is not Satan who sends us to Hell, it is our sin. Sin has ended the lives of millions of people, and has led people to end their life as well. Sin has caused countless health issues, depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and secluded life styles. Sin has led to division in families, and churches, business. It has started wars and psychotic mass casualties.
Sin is ruining our lives and yet we are fighting with spitballs.
Ed Welch writes in his book A Banquet in the Grave:
There is a mean streak to authentic self-control… self-control is not for the timid. When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of ourselves a hatred for sin… The only possible attitude toward out-of-control desire is a declaration of all-out war.
In response to this quote, John Piper adds, “There is a mean, violent streak to the true Christian life. But let’s very carefully ask: violence against whom or what?” Piper answers this by saying, “Against ourselves.” My biggest enemy is not Satan, it is Keith Trollinger.
We have is to declare war on our sin, and not war with spit balls. Romans 8:13 says, “For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”
The power comes from the Spirit who lives in us. We are no match for our sin, but by the power of the Spirit we can put it to death. When we approach our sin knowing and believing this, we declare war. We are mean, violent, and aggressive, to kill our sin, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here are 8 ways you can declare war on your sin:
1) One of the most significant marks of a follower of Christ is the ability to confess we need help! Find somebody that you trust and confess and confess often.
2) Romans 1:25 says, “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” What lies are you believing?
3) Get into the Word. Hebrews 4:12 says, “ For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
4) Develop a plan. Who are you going to involve, where are you going to start meeting with the Lord and when? Do you need someone to walk it out with you in Soul Care?
5) Pray. The best way to learn how to pray it just to start!
6) Crucify your old self daily. What and who has to go? There are people who you need to separate yourself from. I get it’s hard, but we are talking about your life and eternity!
7) Focus your attention to something Kingdom minded! Mentor someone younger in the faith. Get behind a ministry in the community who is reaching people for Christ. There are plenty of opportunities for you to serve at Southern Hills and City Station.
Then repeat. Sanctification is a process and a daily war.
We have to quit arming ourselves with spitballs and start believing in the power of the Spirit to begin killing sin today!
For more on this blog, watch Keith’s message on the SoHills App or online.