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November 29 – Containment not destruction

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” – Romans 6:11-12 

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 13:10-25

Joash could have completely destroyed the Syrians if he had only struck the ground five or six times. Elisha had told him that the arrow signified victory. Joash was not availing himself of the promises of God. Evidently, he had more arrows. He wasn’t eager to destroy the Syrians; for some reason he was content to have them contained.

Before we blast him for such foolishness, consider that that isn’t unlike how we often are. We live sub-par lives because we don’t avail ourselves of all the resources God has offered us. He has told us that sin will not have dominion over us since we are not under law, but under grace. He has told us that we are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. Why then, are we still content to serve sin? Why don’t we finish with those life dominating sins that only lead to death? Why do we go back to drunkenness or pornography or greed or self-centredness? Why not strike them down and make an end of them? Is it because we have foolishly befriended our enemies and are loath to be completely free from them? May God have mercy on us!

Thankfully King Jesus completely destroyed the enemy. He was tempted to make concessions, but He didn’t. In the power of the Spirit, He was valiant, even when the enemy’s destruction meant His own death. Trust in Christ for His victory and in God for His promised strength to put our enemy to flight.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for the victory of Christ in His death and resurrection. Pray that we would know the resources God has promised us in Christ and be eager to destroy remaining sin in our lives.

Reverend John van Eyk has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017.

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