Sunday, September 15, 2013

It Is Finished --Rooting Out Sin

Everyone harbors a secret sin in their heart at least once in their lives.  And then there are the rest of us who struggle with it a little more often than that.  Which is why I was excited to be given the opportunity to review It Is Finished: Finding Lasting Victory Over SIN by David Wilkerson as part of Chosen Books review program.  I love free books, I have sin in my life--a win/win situation.  Hopefully I might even learn something new from the book. I bought highlighters real cheap during the Back to School sales.  So now I can highlight to my little heart's content.  I think I highlighted nearly a quarter of the book.  True story.  The book no longer has crisp, white pages.  It is not black and white and florescent orange all over.

I really loved the book.  I saw myself everywhere in this book.  I have this big, fat, ugly, horrible, besetting sin in my life (a sin that just keeps coming back over and over despite doing everything I could think of to get rid of it).  At first I tried to pray it out.  No dice.  Then I tried praying harder.  Nu-uh.  Then I decided maybe it wasn't such a bad sin after all.  It's just a little tiny sin that no one knows about.  It's not like I shop lifted or murdered someone.  If it were something big like that then I would need to get serious about this rooting out sin thing.

So I let it go.  And by go, I mean grow.  Every now and then, God would tap on my head and say, "Lisa, you have this sin in your life.  You really should deal with it."  Oh right.  So I'd wing off a prayer and repent, but nothing changed.  Back to ignoring the blight in my heart.  After a while, God tapped me on the head again.  I prayed, repented, nothing changed.  Repeat.

About a month ago God got a little more forceful with His tapping.  In fact, I'd say it was more like clobbering me over the head.  "LISA!  YOU HAVE SIN IN YOUR LIFE!  DEAL WITH IT!"  Fine.  I will pray.  I will repent.  I will try fasting.  I will try thinking "Lalalalala" and hope that will fix the issue.  But it didn't work.

Look, God.  I'm trying here.  Don't you see that I am trying?  But I keep falling on my face.  I don't know what else I'm supposed to do.  What am I supposed to do?!

I really did try hard to get rid of the sin.  I did everything I could think of--except stand on my head.  Though I would have tried standing on my head if I thought I wouldn't end up injured.  And when nothing worked, I slumped down into despair.  What does a girl have to do to get You to answer her, God?!  Why aren't You fixing me?!

Thanks to this nifty book, I know the answer.  All this time, years, I have been trying to fix my life on my own.  I was trying to fix the sin myself.  Except no one can get rid of sin on their own.

"I don't want this iniquity to ruin my life, but I can't cast out my own sin.  I need a new heart that's beyond my ability to create." (pg 76)

"All [spiritually] dead men and women--hear the Lord.  The only way you are going to defeat the sin that has ruined your life is if God's Spirit does the work in you.  He has to enter and take dominion.  Only He can bring you to life so that you can obey God." (pg 80)

Huh.  All this time trying to do it on my own.  It is not my job to get rid of the sin in my life!  Good thing, because I stink at it.  My job is to admit I am a sinner, that I am powerless to cast out my sin, and to trust God to do the rest.  I must stand on the finished work of Jesus who died on the cross for my sins and rose again.  

How freeing is that?!  I said--How freeing is that???!!!!

"I will cause you to walk in My Ways and I will plant My fear in your heart.  I know you cannot do this for yourself, but don't worry--I will do it all for you, with your cooperation.  This work is accomplished only by faith in the finished work of the cross.  All I ask is that you trust My promises to you.  The work has already been accomplished by Me.  It is your work to accept it by faith.  That is My everlasting covenant." (pg 187)

I just finished the book tonight so I can't say yet that I am now fully free of the thorn in my side.  But I have prayed.  I have repented.  I have hit bottom and given up all control.  I have thrown myself on the mercy and power of Jesus who has already forgiven me.  I know that He has victory for me and that He will fight the battle for me.  God has promised that his Spirit will empower me to overcome sin and I hold fast to that promise.

If you have your own area of besetting sin that is plaguing you like mine plagued me, if you have no idea what you need to do to get rid of it--read this book.  If you are to your breaking point of dealing with the same sin over and over and see no way out--read this book.  It's a good one.

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