Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Make No Provision

11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. ~ Romans 13:11-13
Are we putting on Christ, or are we feeding the flesh?
The Greek word used for "provision" in verse 14 means forethought, or provident care and supply. When you take a trip, you typically make "provisions"- packing the food, securing a place to stay, and ensuring you have plenty of clothes, etc. As a Christian, we are to fill our lives, thoughts, and hearts with the things of Christ, starving the flesh and not making provisions for it. By allowing compromises in our lives we allow openings for the flesh and for sin.

The Bible offers clear warnings that we should make the effort to live with purity and to have the mind of Christ. When we ignore these and rationalize worldly things we open the door for the flesh. Once the door is open and "provisions" have been laid, temptation creeps in. The more provisions, the less temptation it takes to lead us down the path of sin.

What are our alternatives? Instead of laying provisions out for sin to grab hold of, we are to "put on Christ." This particular expression is used throughout the new testament to describe how we are to clothe ourselves in righteousness. We are to literally wear the character of Christ so that when others see us, they instead see Him. When we begin to dress our intentions and thoughts in the righteousness of Christ, the flesh will find fewer and fewer opportunities to take root and spread throughout us.

Allowing fleshly compromises, or making provision for them, takes forethought. We can't pretend that we are helpless to the temptation of sin, powerlessly led in that direction, because feeding it takes just as much intentional action as starving it. Choosing to watch or listen to something that is damaging to your witness is no less a choice than choosing not to.

When walking this Christian path, don't carry with you provisions to feed the flesh, take up your cross and feed your spiritual self. Choose to put on Christ.

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