March 12, 2014.
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
Today I would like to examine a little bit of our role in sin. Often times, and perhaps rightly so, we tend to blame the devil and his forces for the temptation and sin that we encounter everyday. I do believe that the spiritual warfare going on around us has a part in our temptations; however, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit, so to speak, when it comes to temptation. A lot of what we do that is sinful is because we have acted upon our own lust that is separate from any demonic force, except for perhaps by environmental influence.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
James says that we are tempted by being enticed by our own lusts. The story of the flood above in Genesis 6 says that “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Not long at all after creation did man dwell on evil thoughts continually, as a consequence of the fall. This is a mighty statement. I think the things we allow in to ourselves have a great influence on how we act and how we are tempted. The old adage goes, garbage in, garbage out. I know this is stepping on a few toes (including my own), but sometimes I think that is necessary. How do our lusts get so hungry? I believe it is because we like to flirt the line between good and evil as much as possible. I know I do that a lot. Are we actually helping the devil when we do this?
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
Paul tells us not to give opportunity to the devil. Could we not give the devil opportunity by surrounding ourselves with the pleasures of the world that are sinful in nature? “But they’re so much fun!” I know. But in the end, they lead to destruction. Let us not be deceived by the vain philosophies of the world. Temporary pleasure is no trade for eternal glory.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
(I John 2:15-17)
One way to fight against sin is to recognize it origin, and to realize that that origin is not always from an external power, but from our own lusts. Once we admit to our weaknesses, Christ’s power can be perfected through them. I want to give you a challenge this week, not to let the world influence you for evil. Cling to the word! It will be very hard, but with the power of Christ, it is indeed possible. Have faith.
Suggested Daily Reading: Genesis 6-7, Ephesians 4, James 1.
May God bless your walk of faith.