“the action of subduing one’s bodily desires”
I just started The Mortification of Sin by John Owens. In the introduction, J. I. Packer mentions the “need for self-scrutiny” in the area of mortification in one’s personal life. He says, “In Scripture, as in Owen, much stress is laid on the deceitfulness of the fallen human heart, and the danger of self-ignorance, with the result that one thinks well of one’s heart and life when God, the searcher of hearts, is displeased with both.”
I have been guilty of this self-righteousness on many occasions and I have paid dearly for it. The continued stronghold of habitual sin in my life is evidence of it. There is no point in denying it so I felt the need to come clean with that first and foremost, or else the rest of these thoughts won’t be filtered through the correct lens.
Many of you have read my thoughts on myself and my struggles before, and with risk of boring or beating a dead horse, so to speak, I am prompted to discuss them with myself once more through writing.
I’m no stranger to failure, especially when it comes to overcoming the sin in my life. Some I have let entrench themselves so much that I’ve had a hard time removing them and have been working on renovations for years. The reason for this 30 day social media fast is just that, but even during this fast I have taken L’s. This is because I haven’t been committing myself to spiritual disciplines while I omit some of the most triggering parts of my life. As I mentioned a couple days ago, it’s not just a problem of omission, but a joint problem of lack of commission as well. Hence, my purchase reading of John Owen, who has been pronounced as a Puritan Giant for his writings.
I have been convicted of my lackluster approach thus-far of my fight for righteousness and purity. Too long have I sat on the sidelines of the battle for my soul and let grace pick me up every time I melt and give in. Whereas I know that grace is sufficient, I am reminded of Paul’s writings in Romans 6:1-2. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
It’s hard to pick up your weary self and put on the armor of God when you have been rooting for the other side; the side of comfort in the pleasure of sin, since day one. God has not called me to be a lukewarm man dabbling in sin and running back to him for forgiveness when I’m done!
It won’t come easy, and I don’t presume to overcome instantly, although I know that is possible with God. He wants me to get in the fight with him and learn instead of letting him continue to forgive when I haven’t even been taking a stand.
I am in need of the transforming love of Christ now more than ever.
As always, I petition your prayers.