You know, I have been thinking a lot about sin lately, because it seems that it is a topic that many of us are afraid of talking about, and I think it is because we are so afraid sometimes to deal with it, to face the truth that there’s so much of it in our lives that has gone undealt with and ignored that it has made us numb and desensitized from its power and grip. And I know that in my life and my journey it has crept up on me so subtle and quietly that I have barely noticed it until it has claimed a grip on my life that it’s hard to let go of and conquer.
But I think it mostly because I have failed to stay alert, aware of where my worth and value come from, who my source for every need I have is, and have chosen to stay ignorant or turn a deaf ear and a blind eye for the sake of quick comfort and an easy escape that puts a bandaid on my problems instead of doing the hard work of looking into what the problem is, what God says about it and believing and trusting that what He offers me is better and can bring true healing and freedom to my life.
Sin is very sneaky, very subtle and very deceitful. It will bling, shine, entice, lure, woo, call out to us, seduce and trick us into thinking and believing it can give us the fix we need for the moment.
That is what all the commercials advertising and media do to us. They show us all the great times we can have by being promiscuous, partying, drinking, doing drugs, cheating, lying, chasing after fame and fortune, getting rich, being successful, manipulating others, controlling, etc.
But they never show the consequences of those actions, where people end up after having cheated on their spouse, how kids are affected after a divorce due to financial stress, lying, cheating, anger, alcohol or drug related problems, selfishness and pride, etc. They never show people going to jail for drunk driving, murdering other innocent people because of a drunk driving accident, or because of bitterness in their hearts, anger issues, or girls being raped and abused due to sexual immorality and addiction, the porn industry, sex slavery, etc.
But we don’t like talking about those things, yet they affect our lives each and every day. Or racial issues. Or political intolerance or religious legalism or whatever you can think of.
It affects us every day.
And as I have been thinking about this, I have been sharing with the youth @ IGNITE (our youth group) about what sin is, the effects of it in our lives, what God says about it, and what we need to know about it and our response to it and what God has done about it as well.
And we have been having some good discussions about it. One of the things that came up last time was that sin was defined as “missing the mark”. And this means more than just missing the mark or not hitting the target. It means falling short of the standard. It means not making the cut. It means not being good enough. It means not making the team. Not measuring up. Coming up short in spite of our best efforts and attempts.
And as we are looking deeper into it this week, I found this verse that kinda clicked in my heart and mind today.
It made so much sense. Do you want to know why we sin? Do you want to know how it works?
We think that maybe it is satan that is behind everything. WE like to blame our faults, our shortcomings, our messiness and brokenness on others. We like to think we are utterly helpless and lost, the victims of some grandiose but evil and malevolent and wicked plan. Ok, i grant you this. Satan is always trying to lure us and tempt us to do things that go contrary to God’s heart and standards and His best for our lives. But he doesn’t have the power to make us do anything. Now, God does has the power to make us do things, but he chooses not do impose His will and power over us, but instead makes all of this available if we so choose to accept it, receive and embrace it. But satan has no power. All he can do is tempt us, lure us and scam us.
WE actually have to make a conscious decision, an intentional attempt at following those feelings or desires.
And here in the word of God we find it explained this way
It comes from James
13 No one who is tempted should ever be confused and say that God is testing him. The One who created us is free from evil and can’t be tempted, so He doesn’t tempt anyone. 14-15 When a person is carried away with desire, lured by lust, and when desire becomes the focus and takes control, it gives birth to sin. When sin becomes fully grown, it produces death.
It says “when a person is CARRIED AWAY WITH DESIRE; LURED BY LUST; THEN DESIRE BECOMES THE FOCUS AND TAKES CONTROL, IT GIVES BIRTH TO SIN. AND SIN PRODUCES DEATH!!!”
So, very quickly, let’s look at what He is telling us
- God does not tempt us
- A person is carried away with desire. We let ourselves feel these things deeply and strongly in us to the point of being carried away.
- We are lured by lust. Lured means to be called upon, to be invited. It’s an invitation. And the lust in us controls us.
- Once we are carried away and lured by lust, then we completely loose focus, concentration, become distracted and this lost of focus and awareness rends us worthless and helpless to the situation, and we are then controlled by this desire that we no longer act with understanding and wisdom and knowledge. We are like animals. We are numbed down and dumbed down.
- Then we give ourselves to these feelings and give birth to sin.
- And then sin brings death to whatever areas of our lives it affects.
I hope this helps you and me in some way, as we look at the truth of God’s word and meditate upon it.
Have a blessed day, and together let’s ask God to shine His light in those areas of our lives that we need Him to.