The more I’m in awe of God, the clearer I can see the big picture as God sees it. Confronted with the beauty and holiness of God, I’m more aware of the awfulness of sin and I’m more likely to despise it. When I’m continually overwhelmed by God’s glory, I recognize that I’m living for something bigger than myself. I see that sin steals more than I could ever imagine and that God’s promises are better than I could ever comprehend.
I opened the fridge and immediately noticed it. There, in all it’s glory, sat the leftover piece of chocolate cake. It called out to me like the ocean calls out to Moana. My mouth began to water as I immediately imagined indulging in its sweetness. The moist cake topped with the proper ratio of chocolate icing was simply too perfect to say ‘no’ to.
But then I remembered I wasn’t eating sugar.
Compelled by health and training goals, I had previously decided to part ways with those sweet, white grains of deliciousness. Sugar makes everything taste better and shows up everywhere, but I decided to cut it out of my diet for a time.
But, the chocolate cake still called out to me.
There was a war going on in my heart. Two competing desires battling within me. Do I ditch the diet and enjoy the cake? Or, do I resist its calls and carry on toward my goals?
In this case, unlike others, I resisted the urge to indulge in the savory sweetness and stuck to my diet. I had worked hard toward my goals and didn’t want to hinder such progress for a moment of pleasure. It wasn’t merely discipline that helped me say no, it was a greater desire and a more compelling goal.
Fighting Desire with Desire
When Christians think of fighting sin, we usually imagine strict self-discipline and saying ‘no’ to wrong desires. Certainly, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit and a means of helping us fight our sin. But, what if we had another tool given to us by the Spirit to help us overcome?