No Shortcuts.

How interesting is it that the very last chapter to John Owen’s book, “The Mortification of Sin” is the one that is the most enjoyable. Prior to that, it was a tremendous amount of discussion of sin. In a nutshell, there is no delivery from indwelling sin unless one genuinely repents; and one cannot genuinely repent unless one fully understands and hates his/her sin. It is then that God blesses the repentance with freedom found only through the blood of Jesus. There are no shortcuts.

I’ll be honest, I have been struggling with gluttony for a long, long time. I’ve tried all sorts of human remedies and plenty of faith ones, too. All these worked for awhile, yet failed when the time of testing began. Why? I’m thinking it was because I really didn’t want to give up making a pig out of myself from time to time. Once time- to-time happened, more-often-than-not was close at hand.

Coming to grip with the full reality of sin is key. It has been a long process. In fact, I don’t know that I’m even there yet, but I really need to get there quick. The idea that God may give me over to my sin, as I discussed yesterday, terrifies me. I know what it’s like to be totally at the mercy of alcohol, and, trust me, there is no mercy in sin. 

Lord, Don’t Do That!

Is that such a far-fetched thought, that God would give me to Satan to destroy my flesh so that my spirit might live? Not at all. I know people that I am quite sure were born-again Christians who died of overdoses. Did God deliver them from dope? Yes, but they went back to it. And, they died. How many times have I made an oath my God only to go back to my sin! 

How often do I need to come begging for relief, yet not really intending to change, before God stops rescuing me? I suppose no one knows the answer to that question, but it’s not forever. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not talking about God revoking my salvation. That’s secure. I’m talking about suffering for sin that I refuse to give up. I think that is not only biblical, it’s common sense. There are no shortcuts.

My story is one where God instantaneously removed my taste for alcohol. It was a miracle. He has not done that for my gluttony. That’s understandable. Oh, for sure, freedom from indwelling sin comes only from Jesus, and genuine repentance is part of that. It’s a step that cannot be skipped. There are no shortcuts.

Now that I see the glory at the end of this little book written by a Puritan long ago, I will go through it carefully once again with my bible in my hand. Maybe I’ll re-read some of the posts I’ve written. I pray that freedom is near. Feel free to pray for me. I hope you do.

Father, I feel that I am getting closer. Keep guiding me. Draw me closer. Teach me. I want to be all-in. Amen.

Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers

Photo by Alex Woods on Unsplash

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