J.C. Ryle urges us to declare war on our besetting sins.
There are particular besetting sins, of which each separate Christian can alone furnish an account; every single person has some weak point, each person has a thin, weak spot in their wall of defense against the devil, each person has a traitor in their camp ready to open the gates to Satan, and they who are wise will never rest until they have discovered where this weak point is. This is that special sin which you are exhorted to watch against, to overcome, to cast forth, to spare no means in bringing it into subjection—that it may not entangle you in your race towards Zion. One person is beset with lust, another with a love of drinking, another with evil temper, another with malice, another with covetousness, another with worldly-mindedness, another with idleness—but each of us has got about them some besetting infirmity, which is able to hinder them far more than others, and with which they must keep an unceasing warfare—or else they will never so run as to obtain the prize.~ J.C. Ryle, The Christian Race
John Piper shares some of his proven weapons for fighting against sin and fighting for holiness.
He also writes, ”When I begin to crave some illicit sexual pleasure, the sword-swing that has often severed the root of this promised pleasure is: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). I recall the pleasures I have tasted of seeing God more clearly from an undefiled conscience; and I recall the brevity and superficiality and oppressive aftertaste of sin’s pleasures, and with that, God has killed the conquering power of sin.” (HT: JH)
And finally Ed Welch reminds us that all this battling will hurt sometimes. An excerpt:
Doesn’t it seem good and right to fight against sin in such a way that it physically hurts? To say “no” when everything inside us wants to say “yes”?
And the last time that happened was . . .
Sin takes different forms such as pride, unbelief and lust. It is lust in particular— reckless desire, covetousness, I WANT!—that hurts when taken to task.
Desires that exceed God’s boundaries exist in every human heart. There is always an I WANT! that stalks us. Sex, gluttony, addictions are common ones. Look for anger and you’ll find it. Search your imagination—I WANT is there.
Now imagine saying “no” to these desires in such a way that you would feel something close to actual pain. It hurts but it’s also good. But let’s not stop there.
Keep reading the rest of “Fighting Sin Hurts.”