There was something I wanted to say to someone, and I knew it was perhaps better not said, but the desire was strong. The problem was that I would not be able to see this person for a few days. Therefore, my plan would necessitate holding on to the thought and feelings until such time as I could discharge it. If I only had been able to see the person immediately, I could have unloaded the uncomfortable freight, then confessed my shortcomings in prayer, and proceeded unimpeded with the pursuit of holiness.
The pursuit of holiness is messy indeed when you are trying to do it simultaneously with retaining a doubtful plan, even if it is a very small plan about a very small detail. You have just welshed on your promise to surrender all to the Spirit. All further progress and insight is held hostage to this one holdout that refuses to subject its will to God. It is like the Jordan River frozen in mid-coursing, except this time to no good purpose. One has to arrest the free flow of thought that the Spirit wants to carry you along on-that perhaps would have led to who-knows-what wonderful epiphanies about God?
For all practical purposes, your development in Christ is arrested at the point where you willfully hold on to even a particle of ungodliness. You have decided you will allow no further input of the Spirit on the matter, and so your thoughts pool up into a putrid swirling eddy, and you feel just slightly sick.
You have, of course, to nurse the feeling, to keep feeding it. Otherwise it would perhaps smolder and disappear of its own accord. The whole while that you are nursing it, all your Christian sanctification is effectively arrested. Suddenly "the light in you is darkness," as Jesus put it.
Do most men live like this? I wondered in my misery. "For freedom Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1). I finally gave up the little plan, and it felt like dying. But at the same time it was true liberation. Down came the frozen wall of water. Clean burst the dam that had inhibited the Spirit's healthful current. "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). The pleasures of planned sin have no comparison with the pleasure of freedom.
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