As we begin 2020, it’s the time of year where we make resolutions to better ourselves. These resolutions can range from fitness, to growing in knowledge, to the most important of all — giving up the cares and temptations of this world. Some of these temptations we may have been struggling with for years, and have become so sick and tired of stumbling over and over again. But how sick and tired are you? Have you reached the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired? Because it’s only at that point that change will actually occur.
First and foremost, you have to cut out sin. Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” There is no hope as long as you continue sinning and don’t truly repent. The only thing to look forward to when sin dwells in your life is a haunting and chilling promise of vengeance. Jesus even shows the severity of sin in Matthew 5:29-30 when He tells the multitude, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” You have to be willing to cut off the root of what causes you to sin. The example Jesus uses is that even if it is a part of your body that is causing you to sin and not be accepted, you have to be willing to go as far as removing that part of your body. You cannot attach yourselves to the things of this world.
However, it’s not enough to just remove sin. Something else has to take its place. Luke 11:24-26 is a perfect example of this, as Jesus teaches, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Much like the unclean spirit in theses verses, when the sin is cut off from the body and nothing takes its place, then the sin will only come back into a man’s life and grow to be worse and worse. That is why it’s so important to fill that hole with things that are praiseworthy as discussed in Philippians 4:8.
Fortunately, there is plenty to take the place of where sin used to be because there is work that needs to be done. Paul tells the Corinthian brethren in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” If you want to be steadfast, consistently moving forward, then always abound in the work of the Lord. However, we shouldn’t just sit back and wait until a golden opportunity presents itself. Second Timothy 2:15 tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In summary, we all have temptations that plague us. Some are worse than others. It is far too easy to be sick and tired of the sin — but not do anything about it. I need to be sick of falling short, and tired of dealing with the same temptation. I have to actively get rid of the sin in my life. Once I get rid of the sin, I need to be looking for how I may fill the void with something good. Most important of all, I need to get back to fulfilling the work God has tasked us all with. So what will you do this next year? It is my hope and prayer that we all be proactive in growing in fellowship with God.