Updated: Sep 13, 2022
God wants you to do something better!
The Instagram post scrolls across your phone: "Get Up and Slay the Day!"
That sounds like good motivation to get you going for the day, right? Until you have a flat tire on the way to work. Or you accidentally delete that paper you’ve been working on. Or you lose your cool (and your Christian witness) with the cashier at the checkout.
The motivation to “slay the day” suddenly feels like an epic failure. If you’re totally honest, the day probably "slayed" you. Where do you even go from here? Do you say to yourself, “That's ok, I’ll slay the rest of the day!” to pump yourself up and keep going?
You arrive at home reenergized to slay the evening with friends, family, working on a project, or just relaxing. Then . . . you burn supper. Or your kid comes to you with a monster of a math problem that takes over an hour to solve and he has five more to go!
You finally decide to surrender the “slay” for today and think to yourself, “I’ll just veg out with Netflix in bed and chill tonight. I'll try to slay tomorrow.”
Does the Bible offer this kind of positive thinking to help Christians stay powerfully motivated? No. It gives you and me something better to slay and offers the best of help to do it.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Paul gives a nod to Jesus’ words in his instructions to the Christians in Galatia. He tells them, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
What you and I need to get up and slay every day are the sinful desires we experience as Christians. Sure, “Slay the day” sounds fun. “Crucify the flesh” and “take up your cross” doesn't have the same feel to it . . . and it's not as rhym-y.
But slaying the flesh is good and pleasing to the Lord and ultimately it is good for us (and pleasing too). It also brings deep and lasting peace that “slaying the day” can never offer. While Jesus has already done the hard work of saving Christians from the power of sin, the act of overcoming sin in our lives doesn’t just happen. We must “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Notice that doesn’t say “work for” it. Scripture commands us to work it out.
It’s kinda like cleaning house. Someone can gift you an awesome, brand-new vacuum and supply you with the best cleaning products on the market. They can even pay your electric bill so you have the power to run your vacuum. But you must use those gifts for their intended purpose . . . to clean.
"Our old sinful lives come with a lot of residue."
And, the dust and clutter of our sinful desires need to be cleaned out of our hearts and minds daily. Thankfully, Jesus has purchased something better than a brand-new vacuum for us! He purchased a brand-new life for us by giving up His own.
Are you still satisfied with the old, dirty one? God commands us to get rid of the old way of life and put on the new one.
Check out what Ephesians 4:22-24 says:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
In his book, Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols, Pastor Brad Bigney shares his motivation for putting off the old and putting on the new. He states, “I’m not yet finished changing and growing, for I hope to never be satisfied with who I am in Christ until either he takes me home or he returns.”
(This book is A Gritty Gospel Life recommended read. You can support your favorite AmazonSmile charity by purchasing it here.)
So, what do ya say? Wanna delete the Instagram quote to “slay the day” and refresh your browser with a better message: “Get up today and slay the sin”?
time to respond . . .
Pause here and ask God to help you examine these gritty truths in light of the gospel and how to apply it to your life. Feel free to grab a journal and write out your answers to any or all of the prompts below.
think about the gritty (aka messy)
What messy sin have I been tolerating in my life?
[Your messy sin can be anything: gossip, bitterness, slander, dishonesty, viewing porn, overeating, overexercising, obsessing about your appearance, etc. Ask God to bring to mind the dominating sin in your life that He wants you to slay . . . with His help.]
think about the gospel
How does the "good news" of Jesus (aka the gospel) impact my thoughts and desires to take up my cross and crucify my flesh regarding this sin?
How does the goodness of God, His love, His mercy, His peace, or any other attribute, motivate me to slay my sin? (That’s the real motivation I need for the day!)
think about your life
How am I going to crucify my flesh in this area?
What Scripture do I need to meditate on to renew my mind?
How am I going to put God’s Word into practice in slaying my sin?
close in prayer
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be intentional in crucifying your flesh each day and renewing your mind to think about how to please and glorify God. If you couldn't think of anything to write down in your journal, ask God to help you understand how to obey Him in slaying your sin. Then, ask another Christian for help too.
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