This quote is jimmy-jam packed with pastoral wisdom. John Owen understood that the way our bodies are wired can shape the nature of our temptations.
For example, I’m particularly prone to the sin of worry. When the budget gets tight, I don’t just worry in my head, I feel it in my chest. Anxiety. Squeezing, gripping, joy-stealing. As if someone has placed a large iron dumbbell directly on my chest. Anxious feelings then drag me back into the ring of anxious thoughts, and I take another beating from my worried mind. It’s a brutal cycle.
So can I just write off anxiety, or anger, or any other temptation as “just the way I am”? Nope! Rather, knowing the temptations that are particular to me helps me fight sin more effectively. Knowing my particular temptations allows me to prepare for the battle ahead of time.
A sinking bank balance is a like a signal flare: Get ready, the battle is coming! Arm yourself with scripture, prayer, and fellowship, because it’s going to be intense. It’s going to be an all out brawl against both your mind and your body.
What are the signal flares in your life? Do you know yourself? Are you familiar with the hard-wiring of your mind and body? What sins are particularly difficult to fight?
Knowing these things will help you prepare for the battle ahead of time – to pick up the sword of scripture before you’re in the heat of the battle. Know yourself. Know your sins. Prepare for battle.