Just wanted to share a portion of this prayer from The Valley of Vision that struck me this morning:
“When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul
instead of sin, he became more dear to me
than sin had formerly been;
his kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.
Teach me to believe that if ever I would have sin subdued
I must not only labour to overcome it,
but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it,
and he must become to me more than the vile lust had been;
that his sweetness, power, life may be there.
Thus I must seek a grace from him contrary to sin,
but must not claim it apart from himself.”
(From the prayer entitled: “Contentment,” 294)
I found this a good reminder that defeating sin is about finding a greater satisfaction in God. It is putting the right thing on the throne: God himself, not your sin. And our battle is not just to get rid of sin in our life so that we can be rid of it, but rather to get rid of sin in our life so that Jesus can replace it in every area. We have failed if we just subdue sin and leave it’s residence empty, because more sin will just enter into that room. We need Christ to “abide in the place of it.” We do not just want to get rid of sin as our master, but replace it with a good master: Jesus.
It was also good to remember that this cannot be done “apart from [Christ] himself.” It cannot be done alone. Our getting rid of sin is nothing if it is not to put our affections on Jesus and find “his sweetness, power, [and] life.” We will have a ruler in our life, but may it be a “kindly” and gracious one rather than a tyrant.
O that Jesus would daily “be more dear to me than sin had formerly been”!