Thoughts for the week
September 4, 2005
I've heard it all before and I know you have too.
Sin...the slippery slope. Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go. There are many more statements that Christians have tagged to sin. Sometimes they sound so much like a cheesy cliche. And that's what they can become for us if we choose not to practice the teaching of people like Paul the Apostle who says, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin." Sin becomes much more of an issue for me when I consider the implication of the idea of bondage. So, at risk of sounding legalistic and judgmental, I want to remind you that sin must be abolished in the life of a believer and that it must happen through the power of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual life is meaningless and superficial until we allow God to cleanse us and purify our hearts.
Sometimes the more difficult issue for us can be trying to figure out where sin is in our life. To uncover rebellion against God, we must first understand what that is. Most believers think of sin in terms of outward and visible rebellion. The "public sins" are easy to find, especially in others. I have trouble with the ones that are more deceptive. The one's that disguise themselves as virtues. We must understand that the Bible rarely refers to sin in a plural form. Most instances refer to sin as a nature to rebel against God. The nature is singular. The fruit of that nature is what we refer to as sins. The Bible is much more concerned with the singular nature of sin that the plural acts resulting. If I can allow God to get the singular sin nature under His control, then the "acts of the sinful nature" (Gal. 5:18) are easily transformed into the "Fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23).
So what is sinful nature? It is a desire to be God. A desire to chart our own path, be our own boss and set our own standards. It was Eve's decision to decide for herself what was good or bad. It was Adam's refusal to trust God more than his instinctual desire to please Eve. It is my everyday struggle against self-promotion. It is the drive to do things "my way". It seems so innocent at first, showing up in what appears to be a concern for others. Sometimes we see it in places like prayer requests. "I'm going to request prayer for this person so everyone will know that 'I' know this." It makes it's way deeper into our hearts as we begin to control our own lives and make decisions based on our lofty plans for ourselves. Before we know it we are living a life totally controlled by "me" without much regard at all for what God wants. Most times we don't even recognize it as Godship (allowing myself to be god of my life).
Sometimes late at night, when things are quiet, something tugs at the pants leg of my heart and says quietly, "Kevin, this sin-nature is eating you alive." It's in these times that I go to God and say, "Lord, please save me from myself! I need you. If you don't come and deliver me I will slide deeper and deeper down the slippery slope. This sin will take me farther than I ever want to go." It's in those times that cliches become life rafts for me.
just a thought...