It Takes Effort Sometimes, Doesn’t It?

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“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” –  Proverbs 22:3

Many of us ask the Lord, “Why don’t you just take this desire for (insert sin here) away from me?” Many times we think He does not hear us and we wonder why that desire for sin is still there. Of course, Jesus can and has done that for some. For others, that desire may remain because there has not been surrender and obedience.

Look at the scripture again. The person sees evil and then hides from it. He does not see evil and then say, “Lord, this sin that I love to do and that I am walking towards, please take the desire for it away because if You don’t, I am going to do it.” Here, this man takes action and hides from it. There is a decision he is making and then an action he takes.

The desire to sin comes naturally and it may never go away. That is why the Bible tells us to pick up our cross and die to ourselves daily. During Jesus’ day, anyone picking up a cross, the symbol of death, knew they were never coming back. We too need to see our spiritual lives in that same way. We pick up that cross and head out to crucify the flesh because we have resolved, daily, to never go back to the old life.

In the Temple sacrifices, it tells us of the sin offering done first and it was the most important of all sacrifices. This symbolized redemption from sin and it is what Jesus did for us. Then there was the burnt offering. This is where every piece of the animal sacrificed was placed on the altar of burnt offering. This symbolized full surrender unto God. Alfred Edersheim wrote that these offerings, “indicated, as it were, the fullness, richness, and joyousness of their self-surrender.”

Today, we have the sin offering, Jesus our Christ. We must then have the burnt offering. We must bring those sins that weigh us down, those things that hold us back, those things we foresee in front of us, and we must give them to Jesus. They do not always just “magically” disappear when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Many times there must be action on our part. Spiritually speaking, we must place every part of ourselves, our soul, our heart, our minds, every part on that altar of burnt offering.

The Bible goes on to tell us in the OT, they had the peace offering. They were done in that order; sin offering, burnt offering and then peace offering. When we accept Jesus who is the sin offering, we are forgiven. When we daily die to self and lay every part of our lives as a burnt offering, to be wholly burnt up to God, we will then have peace.

“Love for Christ is a love of willing, as well as a love of feeling, and it is psychologically impossible to love Him adequately unless we will to obey His words!” – A.W. Tozer

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