I have been seeing a dietician for sometime now for a varying number of reasons. According to my BMI, my expected weight should be 74kg. At the first visit, I weighed 79kg. As is to be expected, I was prescribed a list of “eats and eat nots” to adhere to.
Simply, I am undergoing a lifestyle adjustment, i.e. eating the right food and excercising. About a month ago, I went for a review and among many of the positive improvements, my weight has dropped to 77kg. I was exhilarated because it really does involv a lot of sacrifices and eating what I have come to term “boring food”.
Imagine tea without sugar. Boring! Replacing fizzy drinks with water: boring! But the results has been encouraging. Currently, I weigh 75kg. As a sidebar, my wife teases me I will soon weigh 65kg making it impossible to lift her.
Now, on that day after my review, when I walked out of the dietician’s office, I had this strange craving to “spoil myself”–step out there– and eat all I have been barred from eating, at least for once. Conversely, I learnt a great lesson that day. Immediately those thoughts of indulgence flooded my mind, a counter thought followed. I silently wisphered to myself, “if you take this approach towards sin, it will kill you”
You see, the Christian is redeemed, “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven” of all of his sins: past, present and future. Christ has completely paid the price for all of the believer’s sins granting her to stand justified before God without any strand of condemnation. She can boldly personalise Scriptures saying; ” Therefore, since [I] have been justified by faith, [I] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…There is therefore now no condemnation for [me] who [is] in Christ Jesus”(Romans 5:1, 8:1ESV). Here is a plain biblical truth that speaks of the state of the regenerated. They stand justified before God and declared rigtheous in Christ Jesus.
Hear Jesus speaking to His disciples and by extension, us: “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). The word of God cleanses. The word of God sanctifies. The word of God makes Holy. The word of God keeps us from sin. The word of God separates us from the world. We are born again by the word (Ezekiel 36:25-27, Psalm 119:9,11,105, John 6:63, 17:17, 1Peter 1:23).
This verse, John 15:3 is in the middle of a verse that calls the believer to fruitfulness. What we must however note is that, every form of fruitfulness towards God starts from the point of what Christ has achieved for us through His death and resurrection according to Scriptures, His word (1Corinthians 15:3-4).
However, though it is a fact that the believer is saved from all their sins and given a new nature, yet because he or she still lives in a fallen body(old nature) in a fallen world, there is still a constant struggle between the old and new nature and the believer in cooperation with the Spirit of God ought to put up a fight everyday to subdue the cravings the old nature desires to indulge. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to” do (Galatians 5:17).
That pull is real. Just as I craved a little indulgence of what I have been barred from eating, the believer constantly lives with the pull to please the desires of his old nature or that of the new nature. The believer still has indwelling sin to deal with.
Unfortunately, there is nothing like little indulgence of sin. Sin is dangerous to the believer and anyone who has pleasure in even the slightest hint of sin must beware. The Bible sternly warns against indulging in the pleasures of sin which is fleeting and leads to death. (Hebrews 12:25, Romans 3:23). The writer of Hebrew further warns us to “Take care… lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God”(Hebrews 3:12). John Owen, in his book Indwelling Sin In Believers also admonishes:
Awake, therefore, all of you in whose hearts is any thing of the ways of God! Your enemy is not only upon you, as on Samson of old, but is in you also. He is at work, by all ways of force and craft …. keep your garments undefiled, and escape the woful temptations and pollutions of the days wherein we live
Image: courtesy imperfectparents.com