Journal Entry // November 27, 2021
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.2 Peter 2:19 ESV
This whole chapter of 2 Peter was challenging to my thoughts this morning, but this verse in particular really struck at my heart. It speaks into two areas of importance for my life and walk with Christ. One, I have freedom in Christ but am I using this as a concept only that gives me license to sin. Second, has sin overcome me and now enslaved me? These are challenging thoughts as I know that I should be a slave to Christ alone and I will find freedom through his grace. I fear that I am thinking to lightly of God’s mercy and living in hypocrisy.
For the past few months there has been a discernable increase with the intensity and frequency with which my flesh pulls at me to indulge in the passions and desires of this world. As I look back over this time, I can see how these passions and desires are kindled in different areas of my heart through my flesh. The cycle typically runs through the desires of sexuality, pride, and comfort. I’m sure there are other areas that tempt and try but these three are the main antagonists.
I find myself thinking about one of the three at any moment. I want to battle and fight and rid myself of these sins and even the temptations. But it seems that these three in particular are a constant source of struggle. This passage worried me at first because I do feel so defeated most of the time by these sins because the struggle is so constant and because they have been assaulting me for most of my life and because I know over the years I have given in to them so often, it can feel as though I am their slave. That they have overcome me.
I find it easy to believe the lie that these sins and temptations have overcome me. The temptation then becomes passivity. If they have already overcome me and I am already a slave to them, then just give in. This is obviously how God has designed it to be. This is your thorn in the flesh, your struggle given to you by God. It’s ok to give in, when the pressure of fighting becomes too much. I know I tell myself these lies and I know I want to believe them. I think life will be so much easier if the struggle would just stop, so I give in… Realizing after that I am heartsick and broken.
Peter’s warning in this chapter is exactly about this struggle with sin. Any kind of sin. All of sin. Sin wants to dominate and destroy me. That’s the truth I so conveniently forget. I continue to neglect my understanding of the ultimate goal of sin, my turning away from Christ. And that is exactly what it takes to sin. Every time I turn toward sin and engage willingly, I am turning my back on Christ. I take my eyes off Jesus and cast them onto the object of my flesh, whether it’s a person, or an idea, or myself. I let these fleshly thoughts into my heart and mind. I give them freedom to run rampant.
Repentance and faith… Praise the Lord that I can turn in repentance and faith toward Christ for forgiveness and mercy. Sin may overtake me, it may even overcome me at times, but the grace and mercy of Christ abounds over and above all sin and temptation. I must keep my eyes focused on Jesus. In humility, I need to cling to Christ. Forsaking all others, even myself. Dying to myself daily. Living to please my loving Father. Never giving up the battle against sin as I long for that day when my striving will cease. That day when Jesus calls me home.