Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Every time they cooked they put up the baby gate to keep her out of the kitchen, but it never seemed to work. Before they knew it, she was standing in front of the stove about to put her hand on the warm oven door. Each time this happened they would sit her in her chair for timeout, which was the worst punishment possible for a toddler. She would scream and cry for those 60 seconds as if it were the end of the world, but it took a while for her behavior to change. Mom and dad thought the cycle might never end. With a child so young it was difficult for her to understand why it was important for her to follow their rule. What they had to do was simply break her will.
Our sinful nature and our renewed spiritual nature are continually at odds. This is a battle of wills within us, and the result of that battle manifests itself in our actions, words and thoughts. Our spirit fights against our flesh daily. It is our will fighting against that of the Spirit of God. Whenever we want to do something contrary to his desires we know it is something born of our flesh. The command for us to stop sinning and start behaving in a holy manner is a command for us to relinquish our will and submit to that of God. It is his will for us to walk in the fruit of his Spirit, for us to live according to the Spirit now in us and not the flesh. This is an exchange at the altar by which we drop our will and grab hold of his.
God has made me sit in timeout quite a bit during my process of sanctification. It is the consequence of my having taken a wrong turn and saying “yes” to myself and “no” to him. It is the period of correction which sometimes can seem rather painful and lonely but is terribly necessary. We must remember that those times are simply God’s gentle hand steering us back to the safe and holy path. He needs to break our will so that we start to follow his, but we can help that along by surrendering to him daily. When we continue in our own ways we only frustrate the plan God has for our spiritual future. Father, help us to destroy the will of our flesh and submit to your holy will day by day and minute by minute.