When was the last time you struggled to do the right thing? Yesterday? Today? Moments ago? Every time that one person speaks to you or looks in your general direction? When you got into your car and saw other cars out there too?
I have those moments. And that person. And all the parking lot sanctification problems. Along with those moments and people and problems I have a boat load of excuses and reasons for why I needed to say what I said or do what I did. “It makes perfect sense if you only you knew what happened. If only you knew this person. If only they understood how to drive through the lot with slanted spaces!”
If only my circumstance or those other people were different then I would be different…
That’s a lie.
We like to believe that lie, because then we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. If it’s his fault or her fault or their fault, then we don’t have any reason to repent. We believe that we are generally good and have it pretty much together. So we seek out friends to give us a pat on the back and tell us how wrong the other people are. But if we really looked at ourselves we’d see what Jesus said, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Words come from what is already inside our hearts, not from what is outside of us. When we sin in times of agitation, it’s not their fault, it’s ours.
Peter knew of our propensity to sin. So he gives this command in his letter:
“Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.” 1 Peter 2:11
As people who have a righteous standing before God, we are called to live lives that reflect that standing. We are indwelt with the Spirit of God. Peter doesn’t pretend that it’s the other person’s fault that we sin. Instead, he calls us to fight our flesh. When we feel the urge to sin: wage war!
But how? Well, the simple answer today comes in the form of another lyric from All Sons and Daughters.
‘Cause I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing it’s another. Caught up in words. Tangled in lies. But You are a Savior and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.
Jesus. He is how. That’s the answer. He saves and then not only gives us positional standing, but enables us to do what He’s called us to. He makes us beautiful. We need only to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
When our eyes are not set on that person or circumstance but on Christ, we will see that we have all we need to wage war against sin in our lives.
What are some tangible ways that you keep your eyes on Christ so that you’re able to wage war on sin?