Friday, August 14

Are You Tired of Sin?

My wife is. In our customary morning talks, Phyllis has occasionally confessed that she has grown weary of this "world of iniquity," the insidious way in which sin works its nefarious ends, the pervasiveness of it in so many--Christians included--and US included! I join with her angst which prompts me to write something about it.

Tired IN the Work, But Not Tired OF the Work

The servant of God certainly identifies with this. And we often find solace in 1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. And so, despite the sometimes depressing things that occur in ministry or just the resultant weariness from long-endured affliction and incessant labor, we persist knowing that our work counts precisely because it is done for Christ! Someone has said, "We do not suffer burnout due to hard work, but because of hard work that doesn't seem to go anywhere."

There is another weariness that plagues the believing heart, and that is the pain of living in a sinful world and feeling the weight of sin's attacks both from without and within. The sin within our own hearts causes us to cry out with Paul, "O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24). And despite those who reject this as "worm" theology, it really is a healthy perspective.

But what of the flood of evils in our society, the dullness of the Church in matters holy, of her preoccupation with a trinket culture, societal distractions, and of persistent hubris among leaders both national and local? These likewise combine to weigh us down. I think Paul said it best: Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? (2 Cor. 11:28, 29). We don't "own" the problems of all the world, but that doesn't preclude our feeling it. And it were a worse thing if we were so insensitive that we couldn't feel it.

But God's grace is sufficient, enough. Power to overcome is actually increased in the face of our weakness; God is NOT tempted to run off when he finds in us anything less than perfection! So, we live with a two-edged sword: On the one hand we wince at the seemingly incessant nature of unbelief, and on the other hand we are forced to resort for comfort to the only one who can really offer it--the Lord Jesus Christ himself!

A. W. Tozer wrote:
Brother Lawrence expressed the highest moral wisdom when he testified that if he stumbled and fell he turned at once to God and said, "O Lord, this is what You may expect of me if You leave me to myself." He then accepted forgiveness, thanked God and gave himself no further concern about the matter.

A world left to itself will sin. We know this, and it raises some alarm in us--as it should. But we learn that we too are weak, so we turn to our God for help and then, burdened, pass along that same hope to others in word and prayer.

Let us be alarmed and saddened at sin. We who are children of the only "Change-Agent" in the universe must not relinquish our positions to others who have no concern for the greater glory of God. So, while there is a weariness that occasionally overtakes us, it's a blessed weariness in light of the glory that is coming!


Java3232 said...

Hi Pastor,
This is Mike Warwick. This is a good post. I just finished reading some portions of II Kings and I was amazed once again at how quickly the kings turned from God and did what was evil in his sight.
That is always a concern in my life. I do not want to turn from God yet, as you mentioned in your post, that is our nature.
As we become more like the image of Christ and fall so deeply in love with him I think God allows us to hurt when we break his heart. That hurt brings us to our knees pleading with God for deliverance from that sin. Not just for my benefit but for him. This is what I long for in my life.
Thanks for your writings. I have my coffee in front of me. Almost like we are in your office talking! :) have a good day!

Dave Nelson said...

Thank you, Mike! I am truly glad that you read and benefit from the blog. And it is a blessing to remember our coffee days. If you're ever free . . . ? I still love java, only black now!