Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday's Resolution {Tracing Back Sin to Root Causes}

We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

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24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, til I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it. 

 My paraphrase:

24. Resolved, whenever I commit obvious sin, to retrace it to the initial cause; and then strive both to never do it again, and to fight and pray with all my strength against the initial cause. 

Sin is deceptive and subtle. It appeals to our hearts in little, seemingly unimportant ways. Each "little" compromise or flirtation with sin leads to even greater compromise... and before we know it, we are in a big ugly mess of it. 

Affairs don't begin on a whim. Marital conflicts go on unresolved, walls build between spouses, one spouse confides in an old friend, confidences turn into hour long conversations, and before anyone knows what happened, a family is shattered.

Addictions start small. We turn to the internet instead of the Lord when we are tired, burnt out, or bored. Soon "just one more minute" turns into an hour, and entire days are wasted, family and responsibilities neglected, because we are hooked.

This is why Jonathan Edwards determined to trace his sin back- to figure out where it started, and to fight not just the "big" sin itself, but the teeny tiny first steps towards it.

I tend to forget that I am in a battle. I forget that there is an Enemy to my soul, a World that hates my God, and that each moment will be one of victory for either the flesh or the Spirit. I don't take sin seriously. I flirt and play with it, and then wonder why it is so hard to pray.

Like Edwards, I need to be willing to fight and pray with all my might against even the smallest inclinations towards sin. I need to resolve to trace each evil action back to the root cause, and to cry out for God's grace to forsake it permanently.

I need His help for this battle. I need Him to give me the Holy desires necessary to wage in this war.

What "little" sins are wrecking havoc in your life, friend? How has tracing sin back to root causes made a difference in your walk with the Lord?

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