Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Defeat or Disobedience????

I am doing a study on holiness that is so rich and so convicting. I feel compelled to share it here. I do not have a funny story or life event to go along with it. In fact, it is more sobering if anything.

How many times have you heard someone address a situation with the words "victorious" or "defeated"? How about when it is used by Christians? Such as "I have been victorious in my christian walk" or "I am defeated when it comes to [name a stronghold]". I grew up with those kinds of word-pictures as it related to sin. A relationship of being victorious or defeated. A viscous cycle of victory or defeat.

Here's a different way to look at it...

Its time for us Christan's to face up to our responsibility for holiness. Too often we say we are "defeated" by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be good if we stopped using the terms "Victory" and "defeat" to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms "obedience" and "disobedience". ~Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

Chew on that for a bit and tell you you don't come back humbled, even shamed.
Holiness is dying to self, dying to sin and living for Christ. God gives us the Holy Spirit when we choose Christ, choose to die to sin, and through the Holy Spirit we are able to see the eternal implementations of sin as God sees it. Boy, do we fall short with this view sometimes? Do we sometimes slip into satans grip and sin? Is it really just a mere "defeat" or is the truth of the matter that we have chosen to sin, chosen to be disobedient. To me, that is a much harsher picture that shakes my spiritual core and penetrates my heart and mind.

"When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from my responsibility I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me. We may, in fact, be defeated, but the reason we are defeated is because we have chosen to disobey. We have chosen ti entertain lustful thoughts, or to harbor resentment, or to shade the truth a little." ~Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

Though the Holy Spirit helps us to live holy lives, free from the control of sin, it requires our action, our obedience. You "put to death" sin. You can't just sit back and expect the Holy Spirit to do all the work. You must make an effort to be holy.

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live ~Rom 8:13

Victory and defeat are words that I am well acquainted with in my spiritual walk. But as I put on my spiritual glasses and look closer, I now see obedience and disobedience as I examine my life. How about you?

Oh Holy Father, help us to live by the Spirit, so that we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Gal 5:16). Forgive us when we have looked at sin with shaded glasses. Forgive us when we have not taken the responsibility for our defeats as disobedience.

His Maidservant~Pamela


grey like snuffie said...

Jerry Bridges are so full of the Spirit speaking...it always takes me a while to plow through his books. Great post!

grey like snuffie said...

Oops...I meant to say Jerry Bridges books.... the computer never seems to read my mind...I knew what I meant to say.

Jill said...

Wow, what an interesting way to look at things! Hadn't really thought about it that way before! I keep coming back to your last post as well as I feel my life get busier and busier...
Thanks for always prompting some good thoughts!
BLessings, Jill

I also wanted to tell you we are giving away a free registration on the Rise and Shine blog, so leave a comment and enter to win!!

Rachel B said...

Aaaah...pursing holiness. It's so interesting how God works. I have been thinking about holiness a lot lately...and it seems like everywhere I turn there's something written about it. I had never thought of defeat as being disobedience. Really made me think about taking responsibilty...and be more disciplined. Perhaps I should read this book too. Thanks for this post.

Mari said...

Oh girl that was so convicting. I need to get this book, even though I can see it is going to really hurt my feelings!

Laura said...

This is good stuff, Pamela! I like using disobedient rather than defeated, it gives me a little more feeling that I can change things, you know?

Hope you are well...I haven't been blogging so much, but wanted to check in to say hi!