A 2x4 and a Baseball Bat
“Christianity is NOT a settle in, live in peace with the world the way it is religion.” – Piper
“War educates the senses, (it) calls into action the will…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is something about war that sharpens the senses…” – Piper
As I am spending time in Romans (always, always a powerful experience for me personally) and as I allude to in the title block it usually ends up with me being hit with an oversized 2x4 tied to the end of a baseball bat so the Lord gets that extra little bit of leverage upon contact with my head!
In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul’s theme is (as may be titled in your Bible as) “Free From Indwelling Sin” - Right away Paul goes right into what God did by sending His Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering (the ESV excludes the use of “offering” here) for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. (NASB used here) – be mindful of the “offering” portion as Christ is seen all throughout the Levitical Offerings: Burnt, Grain, Peace, Sin, and Guilt – the Sin offering; however, is the propitiation (payment) as seen in the Levitical Offering in Lev 4:1-5:13, 6:24-30. Back in Romans 8 we see that Paul then focuses on the 3-5 pounds of meat between our ears…repeatedly!
 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
(Romans 8:5-7 ESV)
Gives new meaning to your old coach, teacher, father, etc saying: “WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT?” Why would they say that? I don’t know about you but my coach never said that to me when I made a perfect tackle, the best “pancake” block ever seen…more likely he yelled that when I got schooled by someone or I missed an assignment that let my quarterback get blasted (real time applications in the lesson of forgiveness).
Then Paul goes into what Piper would call W-A-R!
 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.
(Romans 8:13 ESV)
 For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
(Romans 8:13 NASB)
Do you battle against your flesh? What steps do you take to declare WAR on your sin? Declare an Independence from it to honor Him! Do you have someone who keeps you accountable to Him? Can you, do you go to your community group and ask for help / guidance / prayer when it comes to your sin or the sin of others?
The NASB puts it as YOU MUST DIE…die to yourself, Piper puts it as “have a mean, violent streak against your own sin” I urge you to declare war in your life against any and all things that get in between you and the Creator. I urge you to sanitize your heart and your mind of all things not Jesus – Phil 4:13 says that you are strengthened…by WHOM…do you believe? Really? Do you? THEN LIVE IT!!!
I pray that You prepare us spiritually and emotionally for the battle of our minds, I pray that we would serve You as Your body. As Your body was supposed too, as Your body was meant too…
guide us, lead us, help us to give it all over to you, break us! In Your precious name I pray…