“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4, ESV).
If there is one verse in the Bible that haunts me, one verse that can keep me awake at night, Hebrews 12:4 is that verse. Whether walking in my legalist phase, living in the “freedom of Christ,” or anything in-between, these 17 words remind me that my side of the deal did not end with my salvation. They remind me that the covenant I cut with Jesus does not excuse me from Christ’s call for holiness.
When we sin, we are acting exclusively for our own interest. We are pleasing ourselves, feeding our inner wolf. After all, at the center of sin is “I.”
Hebrew 12:4 reminds us that trying hard doesn’t cut the mustard. It wasn’t written before Christ Jesus. It was written by, and written to, believers who understood that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV).
I am guilty. I presume upon the grace of God every day. It’s not the “average” sins that cause us problems. It’s the ones that rear their ugly head every day. It’s the “sin which clings so closely” (Hebrews 12:1, ESV) with which we battle. When you and I fail to do everything in our power to be loosed from our pet sins, our habitual sins, we are sabotaging our faith.
What are your habitual sins? I know you don’t have to think long on that question. What is your tactic for defeating it? Make no mistake, one wins and the other loses.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your day!