If you learned today that you had an illness; something crippling, debilitating, and ultimately fatal, but that debilitation and death were preventable, what would you do? Would you not seek out a remedy? Would you not scour the pages written by the authority on your condition?
My friend, I have this condition - a life of selfish, arrogant, stubborn, faithless sin. Not just sins I have committed, things I can ask forgiveness for and cease to commit, but a condition of sinfulness that will not leave me until my life has ended. Illness that manifests itself in thoughts, words, and even deed. I know the cure for my sinfulness- and have indeed averted the eternal death from which it results, but the disease remains in me, ever waging war against my heart and mind. In the end there remains only One constant authority to whom I can run for a remedy. There is no short course of antibiotic to silence the sickness, no one-time injection to reverse the action of the poison. It is a perpetual, active, disciplined dedication to the curing of this condition that will ward off the effects of the poison of selfishness, arrogance, weakness, and complacency. Only a daily dose of the Word of God, sometimes an entire day's dose will fend of this sickness. While it will never be gone from me, never be fully removed from my heart and mind, my soul has been safeguarded from death by the blood of Christ and because of that, even amidst the daily physical and mental struggle, my soul has found rest. Even in the battle to choose right, do right, speak right, and live right- and it is surely a battle, I am strengthened on every side.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
By dining on that Word and ingesting it, allowing the medication to do its work, our hearts are divided; Not torn, confused and waffling, but literally divided-- opened up to show what is truly there. The greatest and most painful prayer I ever prayed offered the greatest healing I have ever known... "Lord, show me myself." My heart was divided to show me exactly what is in it... and it wasn't pretty but it resulted in my complete submission to Christ. The hidden recesses of our minds and hearts- the parts of us that nobody sees and knows-- we know, and God knows. The Word daily shows us where we are heading, when we are slightly off course, and if we heed the warning, it will redirect us before we find ourselves miles away surrounded by a sea of hopelessness. Let it!
Just as one must maintain physical training to stay physically fit, must eat right to remain healthy, and in some situations take a regular medication to keep a possible terminal condition at bay, we must safeguard our souls. Seek out the Great Physician and submit to His care, and daily heed His advice given in His Word. It is the only remedy that can withstand the bombardment of the sin-sickness that tirelessly wages war against us. If even our souls are secure, the damage of sin in our lives will, as leprosy, keep others from approaching. Christian, if the demonstration of a life of faith does not present as an honest expression of your daily need for forgiveness and healing to ward off this illness, living as a half-hearted believer offers nothing to this lost and dying world but the impression that the healing offered by Christ is nothing more than a fake elixir peddled by a snake-oil salesman. For if a faithless, angry, spite-filled, hypocritical life is the example of what Jesus does to change a person, how could anyone stand convinced?
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17 NKJV)
Run to the Physician, secure the prescription, keep yourself grounded in the Word that secures your soul that you may remain faithful to gospel of Christ that makes us whole.
That is our only hope.