The War Within

Mortification is, “a ruthless, full-hearted resistance to sinful practice.” This stodgy religious term is about more than throwing off the shackles of sin in our lives, it is about going on offense, and taking back ground. You may be surprised to learn that the language of the New Testament isn’t as rosy and gentle as you might have been led to believe. No, peppered throughout these inspired writings is the language of war. 

The Christian sees himself smack dap in the middle of a war. A war taking place within their own mind, heart, and body. A war between the light and the darkness. A war between what is good, right and God-honoring, and what is not. The Christian is a ground-bounder in this war. His feet march on the front lines where contact with the enemy is unavoidable and inevitable.  

With this in mind, the pages of the New Testament call for an unrelenting violence upon the baser instincts and desires of your flesh. Don’t confuse this with violence or aggression towards other people; that’s wrong. Violence of action upon the weakness and sin lurking within your heart is the call.  

You must take it out before it takes you out. There is no way around it. You must engage in battle with your flesh and make it your slave. “Be killing sin,” John Owen said, “or it will be killing you.” 

“The very word translated as ‘put to death’ (Greek word thanatoute),” Tim Keller says, “is violent and total. It means to reject totally everything we know to be wrong; to declare war on attitudes and behaviors that are wrong—give them no quarter, take no prisoners, pull out all the stops.” 

This is not the language of a group of soft, weak men and women. This is the language of a determined and strong group of people. People who make it their aim to squash sin and conquer their bodies. A group of people called out to take extreme ownership of every area of their lives, and to pursue radical discipline in pursuit of one goal—holiness. 

The Christian isn’t engaged in conflict with sin, and weakness in order to earn or merit acceptance before God. The Christian already has everything he needs to be right with God, because of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They fight sin for a completely different reason—gratitude to their savior who has set them free. 

In Christ, we are called to make war with our flesh. We are enlisted in a great battle that will last the rest of our days in this life, but we are assured the final victory. No matter how we are doing in our fight, Christ has secured our ultimate victory over Satan, sin, and death. We have nothing to fear. Nothing to hold us back except our own insecurities, and weakness. 

Get violent with those things. Take the aggressive and drastic measures required to kill the tiniest of your desires to sin. Don’t sit back and take it easy. Get in the game. Because you can’t lose.  

Want To Be A Godly Man / Women? Here's A Little Help

I sit down with guys on a regular basis who ask some variant of the same question, "I want to walk faithfully with Christ, but I am not sure where to start. Can you help me?"

While it always takes me back and I am honored to have the opportunity to help point them in the right direction, the truth is none of us are finished products. I remain very much in the trenches, fighting for faith each and every day.

Therefore the best way I know to help and serve others, is to pull back the curtain and share with them how I am seeking to grow and mature in Christ.

Today I would like to do just that with you and share the daily practices and resources that touch and inspire me in this pursuit.

So you want to be a godly man / woman?

Read God's word every day

You can't grow and mature in Christ without being connected to His word. Everything else flows from this daily devotion. The Word is central to your becoming God's man / woman. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in godliness so that the man of God may be competent and equipped for every good work.   

Not sure where to begin? Here is a post to help you read your bible and get more out of it.   

Memorize God's word

Hiding God's word in your heart is huge and I know of no other way to transform your mind than Bible memorization. One constant you will find among the men and women you seek to emulate most, is that they know God's word. It flows from their lips with ease. That doesn't just happen, you have to work at it.

The Scripture Typer app is one handy little way to memorizing God's word on the go. Whether you're in the line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, or anywhere else this app can help you.


This is perhaps the simplest aspect of our walk with the Lord, but the one we tend to emphasize the least. This is one we tend to overcomplicate when in reality prayer is just a conversation with God. Not sure where to begin? Share your hurts, fears, anxieties, worries and cares. Ask Him for wisdom and that He develop Christ like character within you. Pray His word.

Here is are some extremely helpful prayer tips from Ben Stuart. 

Lock arms with others who are running in the same direction

No soldier wanders off and goes into battle alone, and you shouldn't either. The Christian life isn't meant to be lived in isolation. In fact, isolation kills. Grab people who are after the same things and run together. There will come a day when things don’t go your way and you'll need encouragement, when hard times come and you'll need support, when you'll stray from the path and you'll need correction. These things come for everyone, and you weren't meant to face them alone.

Here are some best practices for community shared by Jonathan Pokluda. 

Avail yourself to the vast array of resources at your finger tips

We live in a crazy awesome time! It is mind blowing all the resources you have access to. How crazy is it that you can learn, and be encouraged by folks all over the world. Here are a few resources to help you get started:

5 Characteristics Of A Godly Man, and 44 Verses To Help You Become One via Todd Wagner

5 Characteristics Of A Godly Women, and 43 Verses To Help You Become One via Todd Wagner

The Key to Christian Obedience via Ask Pastor John

One of the greatest resources available to is the opportunity to fill your ears with truth through the vast amount of teaching available digitally. Here are a few sermon series and podcasts I encourage you to invest some time in:

A Few Good Men via Todd Wagner

The Carey Neiuwhof Leadership Podcast

Ask Pastor John Podcast

The Role of Men via Matt Chandler  

Stand to Reason podcast

While blog posts and teaching are fantastic and will help you grow tremendously, not much can replace the value of a book in your hand. Here are a few books that have been helpful to me, and would be worth your time: 

Don't be legalistic about it

This sounds incredibly simple and it is, but boy can it be hard to execute on them with regularity. When you miss a day, don't beat yourself up, climb back on the horse and keep riding. None of us will get there overnight, we are playing the long game. Consistency over years is what it takes.

Faithful men and women are not over night successes, they come about over a long period of time. They devote themselves daily to the word of God and prayer, and they run with other others headed in the same direction. Do they still fail? You bet! But one thing they do consistently is forgetting what lies behind and straining towards what is ahead. That is they, ask forgiveness when they fall short, confess it to others and then get right back on the horse running after Jesus. There are no perfect men, but there are plenty of broken men pursuing a perfect Savior.