walk in the word
Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17, esv).
Most of our struggles against the sin in our lives are with things we actively do, with attitudes we consistently harbor. Pride and self-centeredness, for example—demanding respect for our position and achievements, seeking to control others with our personal preferences and influence. Not to mention our cravings for pleasure—sexual sins, addictive behaviors, greed for money and possessions, thinking we can create our own happiness through accumulating more stuff.
But that’s not all. Outright sins are not our only causes of spiritual concern. And yet if you’re anything like me, you hate the thought of standing before the Lord one day, having experienced so many of His blessings, without letting Him clean everything from your heart. I want it dealt with! I want it gone! So I ask you today, along with me, to not only go squarely after the sinful things you’re doing, but also the good you’re leaving undone.“Outright sins are not our only causes of spiritual concern—go squarely after the sinful things you’re doing, but also the good you’re leaving undone.” Click To Tweet
Think of it in three main categories:
1) Toward yourself. “Do you not know,” the Bible says, “that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Our physical bodies are not really ours, to treat however we want. Our job is to steward them, to care for them—not in a preoccupied, consuming way, but with an eye toward managing them through healthy limits and habits. Does God have control of your life in this area? What about . . .
2) Toward others. Some of the worst damage we inflict on our relationships comes not from what we force upon them but what we withhold from them. We fail to love. We put people off, too invested in ourselves to involve them in our schedules, too busy to spare the time. We stay emotionally distant, keeping everything inside, unwilling to listen or communicate. Worst of all, we too often fail to forgive, especially when God has clearly set the standard: “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13). But ultimately, of course, our most serious breaches of relationship are . . .
3) Toward God. Failure to worship and express gratitude. Failure to walk with Him, spend time in His Word, and stay close to Him each day in prayer. Failure to actively serve Him, as if we don’t consider His work our business, though even Jesus Himself said, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).
Do you feel the pinch when I ask you to get specific about these things? Even about good things left undone? Don’t let the feeling stop at despair and dissatisfaction. Use these revelations as fresh material evidence that makes you want to kneel humbly before His throne, newly aware of His holiness, desiring to be pure in all your conduct—both in what you do, as well as what you refuse to not-do any longer.
Lord God, I tremble when I see the distance between my actions (as well as my inactions) and the purity You desire of me. But I’m thankful, because I know You are able to do in me what I cannot. And Your command that I follow You completely is not “burdensome”—instead, You empower me to “[overcome] the world” by my faith in You and Your ways (1 John 5:3–4). I invite You to work in me, Lord, as I surrender to You in love and repentance, in Jesus’ name, amen.
brought to you by change partners