God tells us that we are to discipline ourselves for godliness. We are to train ourselves to be godly. But how many of us actually take Him seriously? I mean, be honest, do you really try everyday to make serious progress in righteousness? What about ‘mortifying sin’? It’s good to hear a rousing sermon about it occasionally but as to a daily engagement, does it exist in your life? You are reading this blog, so possibly you might be one of those people who actually do it. Most of the rest of us however tend to have a ‘mend and make do’ attitude towards labouring unto godliness.
Why is that the case? I mean we have been bought out of an eternal existence, if you could call it an existence, of absolute poverty and agonising pain. How? Well it certainly wasn’t with the perishable commodities of silver and gold. Astonishingly it was through the sacrifice of death by God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. It was because He bore our sins in His body on the tree that we who were dead are now alive. We who were strangers and aliens, without hope and without God, have been adopted and are now the beloved children of God. And it’s for eternity!
Yet we struggle don’t we? We strain even to do the simplest of things when it comes to disciplining ourselves in this new life. We’d rather play the game of mimicking second and third hand Christian activity than lay bare our souls to the radical work of God’s grace. Sin, which no longer has any right to reign over our lives, still plays incessantly at being king of the castle. The fact that its bondage has been broken in our lives by the death of our Saviour often seems just a wishful thought, rather than the present reality that it is. It’s as though we don’t get it. We don’t get that the world and it’s ways are actually passing away. We don’t get the fact that enduring suffering in the fight against the world isn’t simply a story to be told about bygone martyrs.
What are we to do? Is there any point in trying to do anything? YES THERE IS! For we have been predestined to be conformed to the image of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ and that is what is happening. As we labour, albeit it falteringly, in our reading, listening to and searching God’s Word we are being changed. As we gather ourselves quietly, even for a few moments in the day to confess the sin that so easily besets us we are being changed. God the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. It is often unseen. Only occasionally is it heard, just like the wind in the leaves, but He is at work sanctifying us. He is making us holy. He is making you more and more into the holy image of your Saviour.
Is there any point in sticking at it? Oh yes there is, my increasingly holy brother or sister in Christ, for one day you shall see Him as He truly is and amazingly you shall be like Him. Keep on pleading with our Father in Heaven for the grace you so desperately need to love Him more and more, to pinpoint real sin in your life and slay it, to delight in the wonder of worshiping Him, and to be at peace with and give ourselves to the labour of training yourself unto godliness.