It’s funny how things turn out sometimes, and moments when you feel like God is smacking you in the face to make you realize something. There’s a certain sin which I really struggle with. It seems like when the urge to commit this sin comes I am powerless to resist it, even with full knowledge that it displeases God and that I should not do it. Well, again yesterday I fell into the sin.
A little bit later, after reflecting on my struggle with this sin and wondering why it is that I cannot seem to fight against it, I was reading Unseen Warfare when I came across this passage, and felt like it was speaking directly to me, at that very moment:
So let no one dream of acquiring a true Christian disposition and Christian virtue, and of working for God as he should, if he does not want to compel himself to renounce and overcome all the passionate impulses of the will of the flesh, whether great or small, which he was formerly accustomed to satisfy, willingly and fondly. The chief reason why so few people attain to full Christian perfection is exactly their reluctance, through self-pity, to force themselves to deny themsleves absolutely everything.
It really got me thinking how my weakness was due to not being fully commited to stopping the sin, that my passionate body and will still enjoy this particular sin. Even though I know that it is wrong, that it is an offence to God, it is in the end my carnal desire which wins out because Iam still fond of the act.
If that wasn’t enough, today’s Epistle reading comes from Romans 6:3-11 where it says:
Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the ressurection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ raised from the dead, dies no more, death no longer has power over him. As to his death he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus. [Emphasis mine of course]
Here again I feel like the timing is more than a coincidence. As an Orthodox Christian I believe that God sometimes allows us to fall into sin, or to suffer in some way in order to teach and strengthen us. God’s wisdom far surpasses our limited mortal reason and I really believe now that God allowed that logismoi (roughly and simplisitically, a sinful thought urging towards action) to enter my head, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to fight if off, at the time that it did so that it would be followed by these two readings so that I would be able to more fully appreciate what they were saying.
God has done His part, now it is up to me to accept this widom and apply it to my life. Glory be to God!