Sin attacks the Christian from multiple fronts—principally, it springs out of our dying old nature, influenced by our culture and heritage, and is spurred on by the devil. To cut off a sin at it’s source then, we need to die to self and become alive to Christ through the process of sanctification. Personal holiness, then, comes through the process of self-denial.
Throughout Scripture, self-denial is practiced and encouraged. Notably, fasting is mentioned again and again. To our modern American culture, however, fasting has become lost knowledge. Perhaps with the rise of materialism and its infusion into the church, the idea of voluntarily giving up something for the sake of giving it up is foreign. Lent has been relegated to the archives of liturgical churches. Lent remembers what Christ gave up when he left heaven and the glory of the father. No, we’re not used to self-denial.
Worse, Christian men have largely failed the fight against the sinful nature in lust, self-ambition, and every other form of immoral habit. In short, we don’t know how to fight anymore. Perhaps we’ve lost sight of who and what we’re fighting. Perhaps we’ve forgotten where the battle is. Across the four realms of jurisdiction (self, family, church and state), self is the foundational field of war. If Christian men cannot control themselves, they have no way to lead their families, teach the church, or guide the state, all for the dominion of Christ.
Men, learn to fight the battle inside of you. God promises to deliver you from your enemies. Use the tool of self-denial to combat the root of selfishness. Don’t be afraid to take drastic measures to win. Satan isn’t missing any tricks—fight sin with no holds barred.