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Withdrawal Symptoms

August 16, 2012

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:1-5

Christ suffered like no other, because he suffered for all that is right, in total obedience to the Father’s will. We have been saved for the same purpose, “to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” For this reason, we are to “get ready” with the right armaments (Eph. 6:13) to win the battles that will certainly come.

Accordingly, we need to adopt a policy of sound judgment and sobriety, knowing that “no soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life.” (2 Tim. 2:4) We do this primarily to keep open lines of communication to God, i.e. for the “purpose of prayer.”

Making such a dramatic withdrawal from a former life overflowing with wastefulness (“excesses of dissipation”), your friends will be shocked and will certainly ridicule you to your face and slander you to others.  As noted in 1 Peter 3:16, “They will “revile your good behavior,” for “everyone who does evil hates the light.” (John 3:20) But they will be forced to “give an account” for their wanton lifestyle someday. Everybody will.

You should only care to “live in the Spirit according to the will of God.” Live like the end is near—it is—and do what you have been called now to do; zealously love the Lord and others.

You’ve got to make up for lost time.

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