I have been fighting some illness for over three weeks. It started as a cough, and today, I woke up, and my voice was gone. Perhaps I am prone to it disappearing, or maybe it is an occupational hazard; whatever the reason, my voice disappears once a season. It doesn’t hurt, so I continually push my vocal cords, stressing them more. Medical advice would be to rest and soothe them with several home remedies. Yet, my stubbornness overwhelms me, and I ignore the advice of health experts, and I typically pay the price for my stubbornness.
It reminds me of the sin that so easily entangles us. Often, sin comes in waves, and there are seasons of our lives inundated with periods where our souls are attacked. Sometimes, it is a personal tragedy that overwhelms us and draws us farther from God; other times, we are stressed from our day-to-day lives and seek to find pleasure in some form of immediate self-gratification. Still, there are other times when it seems that out of the blue, there is something that pulls us away from a beneficial walk with God.
The Bible gives sound advice on how to thwart sin, but we think we can push through it and muster and rally ourselves to a righteous position. We imagine that if we try harder, we will succeed and finally beat sin by exerting our will over it. 
On the contrary, the advice of our spiritual advisers is to steer in the opposite direction. 
Matthew 6:33- “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”
Our knee-jerk reaction is to find our sin and tackle it head-on, to wrestle it, and dominate it. Yet, we should instead pursue the more positive things, and the sin that surrounds us will begin to disappear. We know we need to put away anger and malice; however, if I focus on those attitudes, it becomes difficult to separate them from my character. If, instead, I am pursuing gentleness and kindness, those two previous qualities have diminishing returns in my life. By seeking God’s things, I avoid the cares and concerns of the world, pursuing that which is noble instead of merely trying to evade the pitfalls around me. James will put it like this in his epistle. 
James 4:8-10 NLT – “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
It is by drawing closer to God and resolving to follow Him that frees us. We often are so focused on the prison walls that we forget we already have the key. We become consumed with the wrong emphasis. Our sorrow and sadness are the recognition that we need God; therefore, by acknowledging this, we can fully turn to Him. This is that vital act of humility- the dying to ourselves that ultimately exalts us. 
We can attempt to gain righteousness and wholeness on our own. At some point, we will recognize that this is an impossible endeavor. There is no amount of effort we can ever accomplish to become pure or whole. Instead, we should rest in Jesus, who is able to save us. 
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 ESV). 
The more I push my voice, the longer it will take to heal, and the more I live only to avoid sin, the more I will become exhausted from my tiresome efforts. Instead, I seek first, draw near, and God will draw nearer to me, saving me from my illnesses.  

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