Tuesday, February 28, 2012


“We wrestle against God when we disregard His rules and substitute our own. Maybe you do not wrestle against God's providence, and you do wrestle against sin. This seems commendable, but God requires more: You must wrestle by His rules and His alone. Timothy tells us, "If a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” 2 Timothy 2:5. Check your own conduct against the errors of some who have waged their own battle, and not Christ's: (See the passage below.)
Some, while they wrestle against one sin, embrace another. Our lusts are diverse and will fight for rank among themselves. When malice wants revenge, craft says, "Hide your wrath-- but do not forgive." When passion sends out for whores, hypocrisy cancels the request but for the fear of the world, not God. The man who allows one sin to command another, and thus to rule his soul, cannot be God's champion.
Some wrestle because they are pressed into service. Their slavish fears frighten them and keep them from their lusts for the moment. But the real combat for such a wrestler is between his conscience and his will, rather than between his soul and his lusts. In such a case, the will at last prevails, for a lust held in check but not discarded grows as wild as a trapped stallion. Finally the conscience can no longer hold the reins nor sit in the saddle, but is thrown down. Then the lust ranges where it can have its fullest meal and will continue to gorge itself until conscience revives and runs to God for help.
Others wrestle with sin but do not hate it. They wrestle in jest, not in earnest. Until the love of a sin is quenched in the heart, the fire will never die out. How is this accomplished? Jerome says one love extinguishes another-- that is, the love of Christ must quench the love of sin. Then and not until then will the soul's decree stand against sin.”
Tim. 2:3 Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus.  4 No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him.  5 And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down).  6 [It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits.
One of the great lies that we are often deceived into believing is that we can live according to our own rules and even fight the good fight according to our own rules. Today passage makes it clear we must discover God’s rules and obey them. Pastor Cho in Korea is famous for saying, “ I hear and I obey.” Today that is my prayer for each of us.
Father as we discover you and your ways more and more may we say yes to you at each point.
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell. http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41823&pid=53617

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