You know that one of the primary goals the Lord has for us is our sanctification. So, why not use your quiet time to conduct a search and destroy mission for sin? Since we’ve covered elements of this on this blog over the last couple of months, let’s summarize what we’ve covered so that we have a single article that provides a topical index.
Your heart and your Bible
First, sanctification begins with repentance, so let’s start at the beginning. Unless we’ve come to Christ in repentance, we can’t even begin the journey. Assuming you’ve started there, and you’ve submitted yourself to Christ, it is helpful to know the 3 functions of the heart, which helps us understand why reading the Bible is so important. Since reading the Bible is a core part of our quiet times, knowing this will prove helpful.[shareable]Why not use your quiet time to conduct a search and destroy mission for sin?[/shareable]
If you’re like most people, just having a consistent quiet time is difficult. This is why it is crucial to overcome the most important weakness – the one that keeps you from the Word. If you can identify what keeps you from the word of God, you’re well on your way to making sure your quiet times are consistent. When I worked to identify what kept me from the word of God, my quiet times became much more consistent, so I know this works.
Once you manage to get some consistency going, by overcoming that one major weakness, you can begin to work on the 3 weaknesses we all need to address in our quiet times. Also, don’t forget that if others hold something against us, we need to go to them and resolve these conflicts to the best of our ability. This is why we took a look at how interpersonal conflict affects our quiet time.
Once you’ve established some consistency, you’re ready to use your quiet time to go to work against your sin.[shareable]It is likely that your flesh will be reluctant to consider your sin carefully.[/shareable]
It is likely that your flesh will be reluctant to consider your sin carefully. This is a natural response from the flesh, so don’t be discouraged. Instead, feed your mind with these 5 (good) reasons to take a look at the skeletons in the closet. Once you’ve overcome the reluctance of your flesh, start by assessing your soul using the 3 functions of the heart.
If you’re really courageous (or if you’re stuck) ask yourself these 30 questions to determine areas of sin that you really need to work on. It is often really helpful to ask someone else who knows you well to answer the questions for you too. Once you’ve honestly answered them, you will have several areas to work on. Pick just one initially.
Once you’ve selected the one sin you want to work on, you could be feeling overwhelmed, or in denial. It’s important to respond rightly when we see sin in our lives, but it is also important to realize that having identified sin, you’re now in a strong position to turn those spiritual weaknesses into strengths. This is an important step, so don’t skip it.
There is a simple process to follow to do this, which is summed up in the 3 steps of repentance you need to complete. We considered in more detail that since we can’t just stop, we really need to put sin to death. Since sin permeates our heart, we can use the three functions of the heart to help us resolve to put sin to death at each level.
Having merely put off sin isn’t enough. The flesh is much too clever to fall just because we do this one thing. This is why renewing the mind is so powerful, in fact, the most powerful tool for repentance. Once we’ve put sin to death and renewed our mind, we are in a great position to be able to put on the new man. Don’t be deceived, the repentance process is not complete just because we’ve stopped sinning. We are called to be transformed, so we need to put on new behavior, desires and thoughts in order to complete the process.[shareable]Don’t be deceived, the repentance process is not complete just because we’ve stopped sinning.[/shareable]
Use your quiet time
My encouragement is that you not wait until someone points out your sin before you deal with it. Instead, use this process to search for it and destroy it using your quiet time. Using your quiet time to overcome sin has the added benefit of making this time with the Lord more meaningful since you’re beginning to align the time you spend with Him with the purpose He has for your spiritual life.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to consider how to design your quiet time to best cater for this process. We’re also going to add some other elements of your quiet time that will be helpful.
[reminder]What do you do in your quiet time?[/reminder]