Killer Instinct

Published on Jan 8th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct

Here is one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016.  I need to have more of a killer instinct.  I need to be more aggressive.  I can’t allow myself to be so passive when it comes to areas of my life where God has already won the victory for me and yet I continue to allow them to reign in my life.  The longer that I allow them to have a place in my life, ok, that is too soft…the longer that I allow them to rule in my life…the harder it is to pry their cold dead fingers off of my life.  I strongly believe that my justification was totally an act of God.  My sanctification, my growth and conformity to Christ, is also a work of God but he has given me a role in this work.  He has not called me to simply sit back and wait for him to miraculously change me into the man he has called me to be.  He does not zap me into some kind of super saint.  There is some effort on my part.  I will admit that the effort he calls me to often looks way different than I thought it would but that does not excuse me from making the effort.

Colossians 3:5 says it this way, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you.”  In verse 8 Paul says, “But now you must put them all away”.  He continues in verse 9 saying, “seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices”.  We allow sin to linger too long in our lives.  We need to listen more to Jesus, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.  For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it way.” (Matt 5:29,30a).  Those are some fightin’ words!!  Those are some words that should drive us to be more aggressive in our Christian walk than what we may be used to.  There may be areas in our lives that have been there a long time.  We have even begun to believe that we will never experience the victory that God has given us in these areas.  We may have begun to blame those close to us for our sin.  If they would just change then we would not be so apt to sin like we do.  Maybe we have begun to make excuses that God has heard a million times…it is my personality, it is how I grew up, I have been hurt too often, I have tried and tried and it does no good.

There are many reasons why we struggle with certain stubborn sins.  God even acknowledges that we will have these struggles, “sin which clings so closely” (Heb 12:1b – or the old English, “sins which easily beset us”).  But even though he acknowledges these kinds of sins he does so in the context that says we “lay aside” these sins and “run the race set before us”.  Even though there are many reasons, let me share just one.  It is a cold one.  It is meant to strike at our hearts.  The reason we struggle so mightily with these sins is because we like the pay off we receive from these sins.  We like not having to deal with problems so we embrace the fear.  We do not like being overwhelmed with people and their problems so we shut down.  We desire to have, and we cannot, so we live in lustful minds.  There are pay offs that come from sin and we often find those pay offs to be too appealing and satisfying.  The problem is that God tells us that they will eventually destroy.  They will destroy relationships, our walk with God, our confidence, our joy…our everything.

So how do we fight again?  How do we stand up and allow the victory that Jesus has won over all of these sins to be a reality in our lives practically and not just positionally?  Again, the answer to that question has many parts so let me share just one with you.  You must believe, trust, have faith that the pay off that God brings through obedience is far better than the pay off you receive from participating in sin.  The discipline you must practice, the problem you must face head on, the saying no to the flesh, may all seem burdensome at the present time but the pay off that comes from God will be far greater than the present, destructive pay off.  You have to believe that. This is a faith issue.  When you trust God, when you yield to his strength, he does a good work in you.

This is a fierce battle.  It often involves radical amputation.  I have friends who have had limbs amputated.  It was a huge and radical life changing experience.  Lives had to be lived differently.  There was phantom pain.  Adjustments needed to be made every day until a level of comfort could be achieved.  Spiritually it is the same with us when we amputate an area of sin in our lives.  Your life will have to be lived differently.  You can’t make the same choices you once did.  There will be phantom pain from what you believe you have lost.  It will take a while for the new choices that you have put on to feel comfortable.  But soon, by the grace of God, the new limb will work better than the old, diseased limb.  No one chooses to amputate a limb unless they believe there is no other way.  Jesus would not have told us to spiritually amputate if there was another way.  There isn’t.  It is time, in 2016, to radically amputate areas of our lives that have gripped us for far too long.  Don’t do it alone.  Find brothers and sisters who will help you.  Yield your lives to the Spirit of God and allow him to do the cutting.

Then fight.

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