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TREATING THE DISEASE, NOT THE SYMPTOMS


I know a man who has diabetes. It has gone unchecked and he has some serious problems with his feet. He is always hindered by his foot problems and he's afraid he will lose one to amputation so he has the tendency to treat the foot concerns. The problem is that any treatment he gives his feet is temporary and inadequate. He may get them to feel good for a while but until he addresses the real disease ... the diabetes ... he will always have recurring foot problems.


Some people are, similarly, fixated on a sin (s) that they keep having recurring problems with. They beat it down but eventually it rears its ugly head again. Some say, you need counseling. Others think the answer is hard preaching or strict accountability -- but those don't work either. The problem is the "disease" of sin that resides in the heart has never been addressed. Until the heart is fully surrendered to God and purified the sin will continue to shackle them. There can be no victory until the power of Jesus' victory over the enemy is applied to the diseased heart. Only then will the dragon be slain (Rev. 12).


John the Baptist foretold of this wonderful cleansing (Matthew 3:11) "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."


James says (4:7-8) "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."


Many colleagues rail against human vice. They preach incessantly against things like pornography, gossip, dishonesty, anger, lust, corrupt speech, or whatever their "pet" vices are (since there is no way they can list them all). I understand their passion and I know there is a place for addressing specific sins but I am convinced that we leave the Church weak when we preach like this because it misses the point. These vices are simply "thresholds" or "windows to the soul." They are not the real problem. The problem is that the diseased heart is not set free from the grip of sin.

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