John Owen’s Dragon Slayer Smackdown

John Owen by John Greenhill
“Let, then, thy soul be exercised by faith with such thoughts and apprehensions as the following. I am a poor, weak creature; unstable as water, I cannot excel. This corruption is too hard for me, and is at the very door of ruining my soul; and what to do I know not. My soul is become as parched ground, and a habitation of dragons. I have made promises and broken them; vows and engagements have been as a thing of nought. Many persuasions have I had that I had got the victory and should be delivered; but I am deceived; so that I plainly see, that without some eminent succour and assistance, I am lost, and shall be prevailed on to an utter relinquishment of God. But yet, though this be my state and condition, let the hands that hang down be lifted up, and the feeble knees be strengthened. Behold the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath all fulness of grace in his heart, all fulness of power in his hand (John 1:16; Matt. 28:18): he is able to slay all these enemies. There is sufficient provision in him for my relief and assistance: he can take my drooping, dying soul, and make me more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:38).”– John Owen, Mortification of Sin, 163.
Nun Agathe - St George the dragon-slayer - Google Art Project

The true battle of sin is within. After the Christian has run from the external temptations, has diverted his eyes, has removed herself from the gossiping crowd, has blocked and run, what shall he do then, when he finds dragons in himself? Christian, simply come within sight of the cross. Find at the feet of Jesus your debt, paid in full by His blood. Come within sight of the risen Lord, who has gained victory for you over all your enemies, has, with his death and resurrection, sealed the fate of sin, death, and Satan. Find in His presence true joy and satisfaction, true rest and security. Acknowledge your weakness and frailty, own the sin and guilt, but own the Savior quickly. Own your strength, new life and identity, power, and dominion per your union with Him. Be strengthened in His presence. Be challenged to throw off your sin, to repent and fight hard to remember, to believe. Make the trip to Christ, hourly, if not moment by moment. In Him who fights our dragons, we have gained, are gaining, and will gain ultimate victory.


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