You Can Change 16: What strategies will reinforce your faith and repentance?

These are my notes and some reflections on Tim Chester’s book: You Can Change

Understanding your sinful desires and the gospel strategies and disciplines required to fight them does not on it’s own bring change.  Faith and repentance are a daily struggle.  So what strategies do you need to put into place to reinforce your faith and repentance?

Reflecting on Galatians 6:7-8, there is a principle that God has built into the world – a man reaps what he sows.

“Holiness is a harvest… we sow to the flesh whenever we do something that strengthens or provokes our sinful desires.  We sow to the Spirit whenever we strengthen our Spirit-inspired desire for holiness… Not sowing to the sinful nature is all about reinforcing repentance.  Sowing to the Spirit is about reinforcing faith.” (p146-147)

Avoiding whatever provokes sinful desires:

Not sowing to our sinful desires means avoiding situations where our sinful desires will be provoked. Although simple avoidance cannot bring about  change, change must begin with our heart.  What avoidance does is buy us time, where there is no stimulation for our desires – there is time for the truth to prevail.  Often we hang around in tempting situations, flirting with our sinful desires and then wonder why God does not provide a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13-14)

Avoiding whatever provokes sinful desires:

Most of our sinful desires can be fed by things in our culture – the Bible calls this influence the world.  Most of the lies behind our sin are perpetuated by the media, our culture and our community.  The world around us celebrates sinful desire and spreads lies about God. We must take steps to reduce its influences on us.  The question is always whose voice are you listening to?  We must listen longer and deeper to the voice of God and screen out the voices of the world.

Saying “no” to sinful desires:

Thomas Chalmers argued that we cannot simply tell ourselves to stop sinning rather: “We need to direct the desires that sin falsely satisfies towards that which truly satisfies and liberates.  God himself.  A renewed affection for God is the only thing that will expel sinful desires.” (p152)

(Download a copy of Thomas Chalmers’ sermon: The Expulsive Power of a New Affection”)

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~ by John on January 18, 2011.

One Response to “You Can Change 16: What strategies will reinforce your faith and repentance?”

  1. My little caravan craft workshops for children and teens Huntingdale

    You Can Change 16: What strategies will reinforce your faith and repentance? | fresh expressions…

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