Is evil really a problem big enough to demand heart-work for life?

The indirect means of evil are worse in their capacity to divert us than the direct means. At least with the direct we can see — but how often all these things are too indirect to be detected by our feeble understanding of the difference between absolute holiness and absolute wickedness.

We know the difference between right and wrong, but when we turn away from executing this knowledge because of the pain it will cause our wrong desires, we forfeit the ability to benefit from this gift of consciousness. We grow dull to the ways of righteousness — the only thing we ought to know as men and women (old and young).

God uses the direct means to let us know evil exists (yes, He makes it difficult for us to pretend because He knows better than us the dangers this poses against us) and to lead the way to our confrontation of indirect means that thwart us in all we do.

We see bad things that happen in our world, and we are given the opportunity to see great displays of this that we might consider the deep wells from which this proceeds — ourselves so consumed by sin as we are.

I must be aware and learn to avoid what will destroy me. It is out there and I won’t miss it because Satan has the ability to plan his own life for me though he is yet under the absolute control of God. And what is worse, my soul will be in agreement with his plans unless I break this contract by accepting Christ. Then, once I am on His side, I will be instructed and supplied with every means of God to war against Satan with all my being.

I do not worry that he will repossess me after I am in Christ’s possession, but I go on the offensive that he may be routed in all his plans to publicly and privately oppose Christ’s rule. I can only do this if I am entirely submitted to Christ’s rule for myself.

If I live for my own way, I live for evil — evil that already abides within me and will incriminate and embalm me forever if I do not submit it to Christ once and for all. And once I am under the rule of God through Christ, how can I behave any longer as though I were not?

There is no such thing here as accepting Christ and then becoming neutral to evil. I have brought my heart under Christ in the form of a commitment, but that commitment now calls for consistent action to back it up. It is very possible for me to make a commitment to Christ, but never back it up because I am to busy holding on to my old life.

God is offended and grieved when I continue my association with sin, especially since Christ has done so much to get me free from these ties! God has brought an order of separation between me and the evil ways of Satan that have been my own. If grace means anything to me, if my sin is any trouble to me at all, if holiness has any attraction, then I will accept His judgment of my estate and abandon it for the one He offers me.

I will not insist on remaining in the ways of my sin while I have been freed from the constitution to sin. It is no longer a law in my being that I must sin if I am under Christ; instead, His law — which says I must not sin — is in my being. But, I must exercise this freedom in such a way that I would concede to Him as my Judge and Counselor rather than my own desires that are still very much in favor of going on with sin.

If He remains separate from sin, and I do not, then their is a block between our communion. I cannot keep God as the first priority in my life — a Person first before even myself — and learn to love what He loves, if holiness must take a back seat my continued rebellion against God. It would make no sense for me to claim to be a child of God if this were still the orientation I embraced!

I will be forever His kid if I invite Jesus to come into my heart, but it will do me no good in the present unless I act like it. We only boast about what we love or think is of considerable value, let us then seek God for the ability to love Him and value Him in the same ways He loves and values us. Then we will have turned from evil and embraced good.

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