News flash: the only thing that stops us from giving in to temptation is whether we choose to resist it or not. Like, duh, right? So why is it so difficult to fight some things, and do we know what we are missing out on when we choose sin over God?
Nobody Holds A Gun To Our Head To Do Anything, We Freely Choose Our Actions
One of the most valuable things God gave us is the power of our free will
Whether it was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden being told to stay away from forbidden fruit, Noah being told to build an ark, Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, David being tempted to chase after Bathsheeba, or even Jesus when he was tempted in the desert, for better or for worse, God has trusted mankind to determine our lives, and level of intimacy with him, one choice at a time based on what we want or think is good
Yet, sometimes due to greed, embarrassment, rebellion, selfishness, ignorance, fear or whatever, and regardless of whether we want to take responsibility for the choices we make, our behavior is a pretty accurate reflection of our hearts, as we tend to choose what seems pleasing to us at a given time, even if it means going against our consciences or rational logic
…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you canbear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it
Just like we do not put our hand on a red hot frying pan, we only do sinful things that are appealing to us in some way
Fighting Sin Means Recognizing We Desire It In The First Place
Yes, thank you, please hold your applause for my having presented this earth shattering point
But look at it like this, ever since Eve first eyed the forbidden fruit and decided she was going to disobey because she saw benefit from it, a Christian’s desire for sin almost always comes down to one very simple point:
Christians sin because we often find the benefits of disobedience more appealing than intimacy with God
The reality is, just like Eve stumbled before fig leaves became a fashion statement, we fall prey to the same temptations put in front of us because we see some type of fulfillment, escape, gratification, etc…, that is more appealing than obeying God’s righteousness or leaning on him for strength
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’”
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves
And, true to mankind, when God confronted Adam and Eve, they both started playing the blame game as neither one wanted to take ownership of their willing choices to disobey
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it”
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate”
I mean honestly, not only were they trying to hide from the creator of the universe as he was doing his rounds in the garden, but they tried to avoid taking any sort of responsibility for their disobedience by blaming everyone but themselves–yes, God had no idea what had really happened, good try though!
Not only did their reactions show hearts that were not truly repentant, but their disobedience showed how little they understood or valued the relationship they had with God, and reflected that they had no idea what the potential consequences would be
Some Lessons Come At The Highest Price: Separation From God
Myself included, I wish it were true that we could always run into God’s loving arms to learn lessons rather than crash repeatedly into the same brick walls of sin we cannot seem to let go of–this is our choice to do so, as God is not short on wisdom to provide
In a lot of cases, God is extremely patient, and always forgives us, when we repent, but he does not always absolve us of the consequences associated with our actions if we make mistakes
For example, if we struggled with living a material lifestyle that was beyond our means and our finances crashed, there is no promise God will rescue our house from foreclosure and put our credit rating up past eight-hundred–sometimes the long road back is part of the journey to learning the lesson, even when it stanks!
But, beyond earthly consequences, and guilty consciences, we often overlook how much damage our sin does to our relationship with the one who called, and loves us
Look at these verses where God openly expresses how he feels when we profess to know him but deny his righteousness through our lifestyles, yet turn to him when we need help or want something
They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah
“Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,” declares the LORD
(Have you ever turned your back on God in favor of worldly things, then gotten upset because God did not give you what you wanted in the timing you wanted it in? Nahhh!!!)
You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures
(Have you ever lived a life of self-entitlement as a Christian, thinking every prayer was in God’s will, to be answered just as you expect, and that your requests are always beneficial for you? Nahhh!!!)
God does not want to teach us through punishment, he wants to reward us to no end, but our sin robs both parties of tremendous joy–true intimacy is only possible when we love and obey God, showing that our hearts truly desire him, not just his promises, blessings or a clear conscience when we keep doing the same things over, and over, and over again knowing they are wrong without having a true desire to change
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit
1 John 1:5-9
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
1 John 2:3-6
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did
Thank You, I will be facebooking your site to my facebook!! Facebooker Alert!! Go to this site!!
Your message shouted two things at me, ‘value your relationship with God and reflect His glory!’ After the fall, Adam and Eve started reflecting the image of the serpent who would have done all the same things they did. What I gathered is this: sin tarnishes the reflection of God’s glory. What we can do is use those desires to create the right kinds of opportunities by which God develops our witness and reflects His glory through us.
That is a very insightful way of looking at the fall of man, as we came to reflect death rather than God’s eternal, life-giving character–it is amazing God gave us the ability to understand, and demonstrate, his supernatural love when we receive his spirit!