Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In all honesty, I've been in a drought here lately with Christ. Is it my fault, is it in His plan? Probably a bit of both, but who am I to decide? I've been reading His scriptures, day by day, and filling my head with knowledge and history, but where is the heart? Where is the yearning? I always find myself closest with Christ when there is something heart-breaking going on inside of me. Whenever I'm in my lowest of lows. And, I know that Christ meets me there, every time. But, where is my desire and my yearning for Christ in the highs? So strange. Doesn't it feel like it should be flipped?
God, let me feel closest to you in the highs and bring my soul out of this drought right now. Maybe this time is intended to be clear with no obstacles, so I can really sit down and hear your word, your history and learn your knowledge. Maybe the sin that so easily entangles me right now is the complacency? It's so hard for me to recognize where I am right now, though I can see where I want to be. Lord, bring me to a place where I can yearn for you. Yearn for your love and mercies. I want to feel the weight of being a Christian. I want to feel the weight of learning how to love others unconditionally.
I've just finished work by a Puritan, John Owen. In some ways, I wish I had the heart of a Puritan. It seems that everything is black and white. The scriptures are studied and presented in a way where, this is the truth of Christ, and this over here, is not. I love it. There's no gray area to be discussed. In Mortification of Sin, Owen explains in ways (many over my head) that as believers, as followers saved by Christ, we must kill our sins daily. And, not take our sins, make it fit into something we want it to and say - oh you silly sin, I know that there is grace to cover you so I won't worry about you any more - but, to actually demolish, or mortify, our sins from our souls (by Christ's mercy of course).
"He is grieved by it. As a tender and loving friend is grieved at the unkindness of his friend, of whom he hath well deserved, so is it with this tender and loving spirit who hath chosen our hearts for a habitation to dwell in, and there to do for us all that our souls desire. He is grieved by our harbouring his enemies, and those whom he is to destroy, in our hearts with him."
I just love that visual. If saved by Christ - your body is not your own. It is now a home for Christ's spirit to live. Why, if we truly loved and wanted to honor Christ, would we invite "his enemies," our silly sins, to come live alongside Christ? Something about that just shouldn't sit well...
This book seems to be spot-on in explaining sin and the destruction of it. I highly recommend for any one looking for this type of read.
In the end, like any thing in life should be, it comes back to our Christ.
"Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of thy sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and thou wilt die a conqueror; yea, thou wilt, through the good providence of god, live to see thy lust dead at thy feet."
I pray that I can practice daily the mortification of my sins, and that I remember his blood is the sovereign remedy for my sin-sick soul. Victory will come in the end for Christ and me.