If you have ever hunted, you know that there is a big difference between how long it takes to hunt and kill a squirrel and the time it takes to do the same with a deer. Squirrels are everywhere, easy to find, and they are not hard to kill. One-shot (if you are good) and it is all over. It is not quite that easy with deer hunting. Deer are harder to locate, much sparser in number and even when you have placed a good shot, they are much larger and usually take much longer to die. Most of the time, even after a hunter has placed a successful shot, it may still take hours to locate the deer.
This is very similar to our battle with sin in this sanctification process. Paul made it clear in Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
If we are going to be passionate, Christ-following, Great-Commission, disciples of Jesus, then we are going to have to be expert hunters skilled in the art of killing sin by the Spirit. John Owen said it best, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” It is not a laughing matter. We should take this seriously.
Some sin is easier to battle than others. Yes, there is squirrel sin and deer sin, but the key is to take it seriously and put ... it … to … death.
Maybe make some room in this new year for a few more resolutions from J.C. Ryle regarding sin-killing.
RESOLVE TO: (with God’s help)
To break off every known sin, however small. (Get specific about your sin)
Shun everything which may prove an occasion for sin. (remove the temptation)
Be diligent in the use of all public means of grace. (Live in the Word of God and the community of believers)
Pray. (Pray, pray, and pray some more)