Sin. Not a good thing, Not something you want to find yourself in, and too sometimes hard to get away from.
When I was younger I remember being at a men’s conference with my dad and the pastor who was speaking made the point that when temptation and sin is too much to bear, run from it – that stuck with me, and too even other elements of the world really do stand behind that idea, flee when something is too much, don’t get trapped – its not so much where you run, but WHO you run to.
A popular Sci-Fi show now off the air called Stargate SG1 had an episode with a similar concept once, a young boy who contained basically all the evil of a race of people had surpressed the knowledge with the help of a woman from a powerful race of beings, when SG1 tries to get this knowledge the boy simply gives them riddles:
Oma teaches the evil of my subconscious is too strong to resist. The only way to win is to deny it battle.
To deny it battle – easier said than done right? And yet, God said something similar once to a man named Cain:
6 “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?
7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Having control over sin, not running from it is what God suggested to Cain, but still if you read on in this chapter Cain doesn’t heed that advice, the warning given to him if followed would of avoided tragedy as shortly there after in response to the anger he had, he kills his brother Abel.
I wish I could say that for me personally I had that control over sin to subdue it and be its master, but I give into temptation, even the advice to “Run away!” doesn’t always come into play, but the part of running is part that while this verse came up in my bible study time that confused me – why would we flee? Especially when we were instructed otherwise:
6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
Verse 7 which I highlighted is proof we are not to flee! We are to be humble, and RESIST the devil, and I think in our modern understanding of the Devil that means temptation for we know the devil’s nature he’s like a lion looking to devour and too like a thief coming to steal, kill and destroy – he isn’t out for our good, and temptations he but has to start them in us, and that’s where the battle begins, where we must learn to subdue temptation before it leads to full on sin – like my quote from SG1 a lot happens in our minds and it can quickly lead to sin – deny it battle, be done with it, be its master and subdue it!
Easy right? I don’t know about you – but a lot goes on in my head before it comes out of my mouth, there are things I have learned my best to try and subdue but I know I am not perfect 100% of the time but the word clearly states:
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
My parents always encouraged me to be mindful of what came out of my mouth, to choose my words wisely and this verse reaffirms that as if your slow to speak, and not just spewing out words as they come, you are more likely to come to a thought that isn’t so raw and well crafted – but too you have that chance to subdue things that should not be said – as we are to encourage one another, not letting anger build and words spew poison, definitely not a good thing.
So how do you subdue your sin? how to you get ahead of temptation? How do you stop that thought from building from simply a “thought” and leading into an action? A few options I can think of , the #1 is of course, Prayer, #2 Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, folks you consider good friends praying with you and #3 Find the source of these thoughts – often we just say “oh thats the way the world is!” but if your going to subdue and be the MASTER over your sin, where does it stem from? Having sexual thoughts? What are you watching on TV? What magazine are you reading with those tips, or questionnaires? How far are you in a relationship that has gone more physical than expected? We re-enforce things sometimes without really even thinking about them! But what temptation hits you most? Find its source in your life, are you lacking? Are you lonely? Do you covet? Do you have some desire unmet? Welcome to Prayer:
Philippians 4 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
We have a direct line to the ONE who can make things happen, will it automatically come about? Not always. Sometimes I do feel God says quite simply… Wait . I know some disagree, I know some feel that God is a here and now kinda guy, but I honestly think as someone who has a better viewpoint of my life – He has a lifetime view whereas I have a TODAY view, but God has your back, and too makes a way to do amazing things within waiting, it may not be fun, but he could be preparing you for things to come, and prepartion isn’t always fun, it means learning lessons, it means going thru hard times, why can’t life be easy?
Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much
But You’re here
I know I can trust You
Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart [x2]
I’m not gonna worry
I know that You got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What’s good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan
And I will run to You
You’re my refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are
You steady my heart [x2]
Great song from Kari Jobe called Steady My Heart – and the lyrics are very true – we are not going to always be able to avoid Sin, we are going to have those days that it hurts, that its hard, and everything just falls apart – but the part of the song that I love is “I will run to You, Cause I know that You are, Lover of my soul, healer of my scars” – God is all of those things, we are going to get roughed up sometimes in this life, were going to let Sin enter our lives, this isn’t a license to sin because forgiveness is always waiting, this is a “Hey your going to screw up” we live in a world of sin, but don’t give up, if you feel its too much! One place to run, not away from the sin and leaving it to prey on you and wait, and build – no run to God, the one who knows each wound, knows your life, and say “Help!” and He Will.
My challenge to you would be to become the master over your sin, subdue it, learn to come at it differently, and find it’s source, and be rid of it. That may mean removing some folks from Facebook, No longer watching a TV show, Not picking up that magazine at the store, whatever it is in your life, be rid of it, help reduce the places temptations can sneak in, and learn to subdue your sin! I’m going to leave you with one verse about letting go of things that breed temptation and it’s this:
8 So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet.
9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
Find what breeds sin in your life, subdue, master and be done with it, stop running away because once you tire from running it will catch-up and in a weakened state your even easier prey for the lions that seek to destroy you. Take care and have a great week!