Thinking about the Romans 6 reminder that I am no longer a slave to sin, and realizing that I act too often as if I am, I came up with the defiant “You ain’t the boss of me!” to use against it when it says, in one of its wheedling ways, that I must do this or that. I decided I needed to expand that a bit, and came up with this ditty. Maybe I’ll make up a tune to go with it, but for now, this’ll do.
“Feeling sorry for ourselves feels so good. That’s why we love it. But like the boy who loved to wet his pants because it felt so warm, we are soaking in our own toxins.”
If thou couldst empty all thy self of self,
Like to a shell disinhabited,
Then might He find thee on the Ocean shelf,
And say — “This is not dead,” —
And fill thee with Himself instead.
But thou art all replete with very thou,
And hast such shrewd activity,
That, when He comes, He says — “This is enow
Unto itself — ‘Twere better let it be:
It is so small and full, there is no room for Me.”
“Indwelling,” Thomas Edward Brown
When you enter into temptation, don’t try to resist sin because sin is yucky. Don’t try to resist sin because sin is ugly and bad. Resist it because you serve a holy God whom you worship. Paul says in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” You’re giving yourself to God in worship, and that is the power for resisting sin. You want to present yourself to God in a way that is pleasing to Him. Fighting temptation, then, comes out of your personal relationship with God. Another way of saying this would be, love of God is a lot stronger than hatred of sin. Love of God is much stronger than hatred of sin. If you just try to push against sin because it’s ugly and you don’t want to have ugly things around you, you’ll find yourself tripping into it again and again. But when you say, “Not that, but this. I love God and I want to be prepared to worship Him, and that’s why I’m resisting that sin,” you’ll find yourself with far more power to resist that temptation.
Ben Merkle, sermon, March 20, 2011