1 Peter 4:1 -2 “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions for the will of God.”
How many times have you wished you could give up that bad habit 0r – even tried to and failed? Success – victory comes when we want God’s glory more than we want comfort, affirmation or control. You can’t just want to stop or think it’s a good idea but then the cost is just too high for you to follow through.
A.W. Tozer says it means to want to be holy more than we want to be happy. You want to honor God even if it means temporary dishonor or loss. You pray, “Hallowed be thy name” and silently adds, “at whatever cost to me.” Tozer goes on to say, “Every choice involving the glory of God is for him already made before it presents itself. He does not need to debate the matter with his own heart; there is nothing to debate. The glory of God is necessary to him; he gasps for it as a suffocating man gasps for air.”
The ESV Study Bible refers to it this way – when we are willing to suffer – to say no to our natural desires – the nerve center for sin is severed. We will never be totally free of sin in this life, but our purpose can be to live for God’s glory and not our own pleasures.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary talks about a soldier being ready for battle – having an unswerving resolve to do obey God no matter the cost. Tim Keller in a challenging sermon encourages us to not be discouraged when we come face to face with our sin. Being aware is better than having no clue you are being dominated by sin. You have woken up and are no longer dead. You now know there is a battle and this is something to be excited about.
He goes on to challenge us to gain victory by taking it to the cross. Repentance is realizing what God has done for us. What do you love with all your heart, soul and mind? Where do you get your identity? When you sense anxiety welling in your heart, that’s a sign you are loving something more than God. Repentance leads to gratitude at what Jesus has done for us on Calvary. Victory comes when we choose to love God more than we love our sin.