In HOPE 10.7

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Father, I ask not for the power to conquer demons or defeat sin. Rather, I pray for a will that wants nothing but what You want, and the courage and the character to be obedient to You when disobedience seems easy or attractive.

Teach me to fix my eyes more on Christ. Fill my heart with a yearning for godliness. Renew my mind that I may have the mind of Jesus ... as I wait on You. Amen.  


Other Writing

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Victory and Obedience

The apostle Paul wrote: "Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” (Romans 6:11-12) How easy it sounds … and how earnestly we'd like to defeat sin in our lives.

We all know the frustration and shame of lingering sin … untamed tongues, brooding hearts, selfish acts; a collection of habits, hurts, and hang-ups that lurk constantly in the shadows. Dead to sin? Many of us feel, at best, that we have tethered the wild beasts for just a moment.

Over thirty years ago, Jerry Bridges wrote a profound little book titled The Pursuit of Holiness. In it, he declared:

‘The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation. It might be well if we stopped using the terms ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’ to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms ‘obedience’ and ‘disobedience.’” (p. 84)

That's a little hard to swallow!

Earlier in the same book, Bridges observed that the first problem in our struggle with sin “is that our attitude toward sin is more self-centered than God-centered. We are more concerned about our own ‘victory’ over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God.” (p.20)

Reluctantly, we must agree.

It gives us satisfaction to know that we’ve held out for so long against addictions, anger, gossip, or sexual impurity. We feel strong, competent, and victorious. And as long as others around us cheer us on we may be able to stay on the wagon. But in the quietest hours of our lives and in the deepest recesses of our hearts, sin continues to stir—perhaps even a new beast to replace a former one.

“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” But it only happens as we count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God because of Christ Jesus. Perhaps the shift of significance for many of us involves changing the paradigm from 'victory or defeat', to 'obedience or disobedience.'

We do not have the capacity in our own strength to withstand the power and reign of sin. But hearts set on Christ become hearts raised by Christ and changed by Christ—the old is passed away; behold, new things have come.





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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2010) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.