This is the third in a four-part series we are calling “Slaying the Dragon,” where we will explore God’s destination for us. All men have dragons standing in their way, preventing them from being closer with God. We are going to look at how to slay the dragon. To slay your dragon you have to have a sharp blade and a clear aim. Along our dragon slaying journey, we’ll talk about some dragon slayers. Finally, we’ll give you spiritual solutions to slaying your dragons and allowing you to get to your physical destinations, health destinations, professional destinations, personal destinations and emotional destinations. Sin is the dragon that we all have to slay.

Mark 9:43-47 says “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell…”

Is Jesus literally saying to cut off your body parts? No.

What He is saying is to take dramatic action. Some of you are pussyfooting around with sin in your life. You’re assigning a threat level to it that is like green verses red. You aren’t saying it’s cancer to my journey. You aren’t acknowledging that this is the dragon I need to slay. You are shaking hands with sin and saying: You know what, this particular thing is not a big deal. If you are treating sin this way, what you are going to experience in your life is a living hell, literally.

That’s kind of the image Jesus gives us here. He is saying that if you know your weakness, and know that something is dragging on your life; that there are words, attitudes, actions and/or temptations that are going to pull you down, that will keep you from getting to your destination of Christ-likeness; then remember that you have to take dramatic, serious action. Don’t treat it lightly. Jesus is making a point. Don’t play nickel poker with sin. The goal with cancer is to eradicate every last cell. We take dramatic steps, people lose hair, they have things cut off. It’s a picture of what we need to do. We have to amputate the sin that is sucking life out of us.

I know there is visible sin that we all like to focus on. I think a lot of us beginning our journey with Christ kind of focus on those things. It’s like the seven nasty behaviors. Maybe it’s your mouth, maybe porn, maybe lust, or not doing certain things, maybe not getting drunk. We start on the outside, and then try to make our way in.

Here’s the deal, a lot of us stop. We get half of the external behaviors taken care of and then we present an image to the world around us. But there’s our inside, still not dealt with. We’ve whitewashed the tomb.  The inside is a little tougher battle, isn’t it?  

How do we think about our wife? How do we react when her flaws come up? Do we get angry over little things? How do we mask these triggers in our lives so that people don’t see?

It’s not about cleaning you up on the outside. In fact, Jesus in Matthew 23 talks about cleaning the cup on the inside, not the outside. Clean the inside of the cup first and then the outside, and then the cup will be clean. Jesus knew where our spiritual life is really lived. He knew that people could have a public image and a private darkness, so He would always go below the waterline and speak to the real issues.

When we talk about the destination and the dragon, we love to present the image that everything’s cool on the outside, meanwhile on the inside, we still have a dragon to slay. Jesus suggested a solution, and it’s a dramatic solution. He says take out a blade and cut the stinking head off the dragon we call sin.