Waging the war in our hearts...

A Prayer: Self Knowledge

by David Kyle 10/14/2014

Because of SIN... Pray!Periodically I want to share with you a prayer concerning indwelling sin and our fight with it. These prayers come from the devotions and writings of various puritan preachers, pastors, and other godly men.

SEARCHER OF HEARTS,

It is a good day to me when thou givest
me a glimpse of myself;

Sin is my greatest evil,
but thou art my greatest good;

I have cause to loathe myself,
and not to seek self-honour,
for no one desires to commend his own dunghill.

My country, family, church
fare worse because of my sins,
for sinners bring judgment in thinking sins are small,
or that God is not angry with them.

Let me not take other good men as my example,
and think I am good because I am like them,

For all good men are not so good as thou desirest,
are not always consistent,
do not always follow holiness,
do not feel eternal good in sore affliction.

Show me how to know when a thing is evil
which I think is right and good,
how to know when what is lawful
comes from an evil principle,
such as desire for reputation or wealth by usury.

Give me grace to recall my needs,
my lack of knowing thy will in Scripture,
of wisdom to guide others,
of daily repentance, want of which keeps thee at bay,
of the spirit of prayer, having words without love,
of zeal for thy glory, seeking my own ends,
of joy in thee and thy will,
of love to others.

And let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain,
never touching the eternal spring,
never drawing down water from above.

From: The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennet

 

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Living in a War Zone

by David Kyle 10/8/2014

War ZoneIt is an all too familiar scene on the nightly news. War zones and battles between terrorists and opposing armies swallowing up or spilling over into villages, towns, and cities. Civilians and non-combatants caught in the crossfire and their lives are disrupted, altered, and endangered in every way.

When you are living in a war zone and a dangerous enemy has taken up battle positions in your neighborhood, your life changes. You cannot take a casual stroll to the local market with your family on a Saturday morning when bullets are flying or terrorists are looking to take your life. Routines are altered and priorities change in a combat zone.

In our fight with sin the same sort of changes need to be made. Christians cannot keep living as if there is no danger to themselves or to their families. The fight we are in with sin is a matter of life and death…

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. ~Romans 8:13

Sin is an enemy that simply cannot be ignored or suppressed by sheer will power. The Apostle Paul exhorts the children of God to “put to death the deeds of the body.” Our sin nature must be fought and killed or it most certainly will kill us. If the Apostle wasn’t clear enough he also said this…

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ~ Colossians 3:5

History and common sense have shown you must recognize and know your enemy if you are to defeat that foe. To not know sin and fail to recognize its characteristics, goals, and devices, is to invite defeat and give the enemy the very thing it needs to operate freely.

Ignorance.

Do not make the same mistake of the young man described for us in the book of Proverbs.

For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, ~Proverbs 7:6,7

The inspired author describes the young man falling to the temptations of the adulteress; and why did he fall?

With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. ~Proverbs 7:21-23

The bottom line was “he does not know that it will cost him his life.” He failed to know his enemy and did not consider the danger or the consequences of his own lust and sinful nature. So then how does God describe our enemy, what insight is there into the sin nature all of us are afflicted with?

In my next post we will take a close look at this enemy from God’s perspective.

 

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Fighting Sin Top 12

by David Kyle 9/24/2014

Fighting Sin Top 12... at least somewhere near the top.I don't really know if these are the top twelve, but they are important things to be aware of and remember in this lifelong fight with sin.

  1. This fight with sin exposes the utter corruption of my entire nature (Psalm 51:3).
  2. I understand there is no “good” part of my person which is not defiled (Romans 7:18).
  3. I recognize my complete inability to wage war against sin on my own (Romans 7:22-23).
  4. I know if I am to be saved it must be by God's grace alone without my good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  5. In this fight God's grace becomes all the more sweeter and precious to me (Hebrews 4:16).
  6. The righteousness of Christ becomes clearer, exalted, and more needful (Romans 3:21-26).
  7. I am utterly dependent upon and completely satisfied in Christ's righteousness (Philippians 3:8-11).
  8. When I fight sin, Satan is more frustrated and exposed at his inability to find complete victory (James 4:7).
  9. I become more dependent upon the grace of God as the struggle continues throughout life (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  10. Overtime I learn how to be Jesus to others involved in this same fight (Colossians 3:12-13).
  11. I loosen my hold on this world and look forward to death (Philippians 1:21).
  12. My assurance is strengthened as I see God's work in and through me during this fight (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Each one of these items is worth talking about, so I would like to spend time sharing about how each one is important as it relates to the fight with sin in our lives.

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Sin Q&A #1

by David Kyle 9/19/2014

Our Sin Is Our Greatest EnemyA friend of mine recently asked this question:

“Does Satan put sinful thoughts into our heads?”

My friend had experienced a stray thought popping into his mind at an odd time and totally unrelated to what he was doing. This particular thought was one that could lead to anger and sinful thinking.

Maybe you have experienced the same thing and know exactly what I am talking about.

My friend’s concern was whether Satan could do the same thing to him that he did to Judas.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. ~John 13:1-4

The answer to my friends question is yes, Satan can tempt us with sinful thinking and ideas; he tempted Jesus with them (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-14). Satan is an enemy who, along with his minions, attacks us like an invading army storming the castles walls, but Satan is not our greatest enemy.

The greatest and most dangerous enemy is not storming the castle walls from the outside, but already resides within and is working to defeat us from the inside. This conniving and traitorous foe is our own sinful nature. The puritan preacher John Owen called it “Indwelling Sin.”

It is not so much that Satan makes us sin as it is him calling over the wall to a willing accomplice on the inside and finding an ally in our own sinful nature. Our mission then is to fight this enemy on the inside and weaken its ability to wage war on us.

Scripture calls us to put it to death.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. ~Colossians 3:5-8

I know what your thinking... "How do I do that?"

It comes back to my friend's original concern about what is going on in his mind. Fighting sin is accomplished on two fronts:

  1. In our minds
  2. In our actions

The battle for our actions follows and is dependent on the battle for our minds; right actions follow right thinking.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Romans 12:1-3

Living a life in submission to God that is holy and pleasing to Him (battle for our actions) is accomplished by the renewal of our minds (battle for our minds). The surprising thing about this familiar passage from Romans is that the Apostle Paul calls us to renew our minds in a passive sense. In other words, we are to allow our minds to be changed by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

For now, I want to leave you with one last thought. The indwelling sin of our human nature is to strong for us to defeat and the only way to win the fight is to deny it battle with our own will but, entrusting that fight to God.

 

 

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A Blog About Sin

by David Kyle 9/16/2014

Indwelling sin is definitely a problem!I have been thinking of starting this blog about sin for over a year now. My purpose for it is to share the insights and truths I have learned from my study about sin and in particular, indwelling sin in the life of a Christian.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you have been forgiven and forever saved from the punishment of sin.

That is a truth.

Another equally valid truth is you will spend the rest of your life fighting in a war raging in your heart. It is God's plan and purpose for you Christian to be transformed and made like His Son.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. ~Romans 8:28-29

Being conformed to the image of Christ is a process accomplished over time. That process of transformation will be focused primarily on killing that indwelling sin each and everyone of us are afflicted with.

Sin is an enemy, your former slave master, from which you have been freed forever. The battle waging within you and me is this sin attempting to exert its former power and influence to control our lives and keep us chained in the bonds of slavery from which Christ set us free.

Your sin nature desires to destroy you and silence your witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want to talk to you about that.

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About David Kyle

David & Kim Kyle

I was saved by Jesus Christ on May 27th, 1994 at the age of 33.

I am husband to my loving wife Kim, father to 9 children and grandfather to 7.

I worship at Lakeside Fellowship in Polk City, Iowa where I serve as a deacon.

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