If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. (Genesis 4:7)
There are two important aspects to any military conquest: the battle itself and “mopping up” after the battle. Once the battle has been fought and won, the victorious force must mop up — that is, methodically root out any lingering pockets of resistance.
What is true in battle is also true in the life of the believer. I call it the ministry of the mop. You see, Jesus has won the battle through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection. He has defeated sin, Satan, and our final enemy: death. Someone was once asked how to explain the book of the Revelation, and his response was, “We won!”
That’s true! But as Steve Brown of Key Life Network is fond of saying, “The dragon has been slain, but his tail still swishes.” Until we are received into glory, we all must “mop up” and deal with lingering pockets of resistance that come against us. Sin no longer reigns in the life of the believer, but it undoubtedly still remains, which is why we all must be committed to the ministry of the mop. If we do not pay close attention to those areas of lingering resistance to the rule and reign of our Lord in our lives, we will never be all God has called us to be and we will never fully experience the joy of our salvation.
Here are just a few examples of lingering pockets of potential resistance:
- Money and possessions
- Family and relationships
- Pride and self-centeredness
- Gossip and slander
The list, of course, could fill a thick book. Even after we are saved, we are still very much sinners in need of a Savior. Paul made that clear in the seventh chapter of Romans. “What I do is not the good I want to do,” the apostle frankly admitted; “no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). If a man as godly as Paul admitted to fighting such an uphill battle against sin, you and I must be totally committed to mopping up any areas of lingering resistance in our own lives.
One final point: God has promised to give you everything you need to fight the good fight of faith until complete victory is achieved, which will not happen until you are called home or Jesus returns. Until then, keep the mop close at hand! It is a ministry we all must be engaged in on a daily basis.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!