True Love

Due to an encouraging post (and life testimony) from a good friend I have been inspired to start Owen’s Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers. I could say a lot at this point, but what has hit me most recently is a comment he makes about “hating our sin as sin.”

I question myself: Hating my sin as sin, to feel the sinfulness of it, often evades me. Why? Why is it difficult for me to hate my sin, to triumph the glory of God’s promises in Christ over my sin? Why do I despise Christ, God-in-man-flesh, crucified for me? I see him on the cross, dying for my lusts, and still I revel in my debauchery. Why? Have I truly been raised, and made alive to God and dead to sin? Does sin dominate me? Why do I so love the dirt of the earth where I live? Why does God’s glory not entice me away from my enticements? The Spirit testifies to me, that I am converted, that I am alive, and in Christ and he in me. But stubbornly, sin indwells my members and does not treasure my Savior.

I’ve struggled, as anyone who knows me might testify, with two primary sins, two primary lusts — sexual lust and love of food.

By God’s grace the sexual lust has grown to be the lesser of these two evils, probably because it’s so much more obviously sin and because it makes Laura cry. Her tears pour like blood from the side of my crucified Savior — her reaction  makes me feel the sinfulness of it. Brings home the fact that he died because it’s so wretched. That makes it easier to hate.

But the food, man, the food, that’s harder, because I must eat to live, and where is the line? Where does legalism start and mortification end?  How do I conquer the love and desire I feel, deeply and obsessively for food? How do I know when, indulging myself, I am looking at something that Christ bore on the cross?

I pray the Spirit’s power would overpower me, and testify with my spirit, and give me wisdom. May I cut off what needs to be cut off, that I might enter heaven whole. May I listen and obey.

May my life show the new heart I have received, the crucifixion of my old man, and the new-life resurrection of my Lord.

Please, if you read this, pray for me — that I may love Jesus more than bread. That I may not be a glutton.

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About Danny Slavich

I am a Christian husband, father, pastor, and poet. I lead Pembroke Road Baptist Church a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in urban South Florida.
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5 Responses to True Love

  1. Lee says:

    O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

    I think the fact that the body is so… present to us is part of the problem. With both sexual lust and love of food, there is a very physical draw towards whatever the object of desire happens to be at the moment. I think that’s why Owen stresses attacking the root of the sin — and to keep on attacking it as relentlessly as one would a physical enemy intent on killing you physically — an enemy who would get up and keep coming at you (like “Boris” in Snatch) if you don’t kill him first. If you don’t do this, if you think you’ve won when you’ve only temporarily cowed your opponent, it will come back at you with a vengeance when you begin to let your guard down.

    And there is no “little sin” which you can let slide:
    “3. Sin will not only be striving, acting, rebelling, troubling, disquieting, but if let alone, if not continually mortified, it will bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, soul-destroying sins.” (Chapter 2. Wow!)

    How is this not legalism? That’s a great question. I think the answer has be found in continually (at least in the beginning) monitoring your motive and your source of power. Is your motive to honor and glorify God in the temple that is your body? Are you killing your sin in the Spirit? I like what Owen says about using Gospel tools instead of the law…

    I’ll be praying for you.

  2. dslavich says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Lee.

    And thanks for praying.

  3. dad says:

    1Kings 15:3
    ‘And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him…’

    Sorry to leave you such a difficult legacy.
    I’ll be praying, too.

    Love you.

  4. dslavich says:

    It’s not your fault. You can still pray though 🙂

  5. Pingback: Love to Eat, Hate to Eat « Almanac of Captivity

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