Sin often comes disguised as candy- sweet morsels that in the moment bring us pleasure. But inside the candy shell is only poison. Both tasteless and odorless, it raises no alarm as it seeps into our hearts and minds. If not for its sugar coating, we wouldn’t be tempted by sin.
My husband isn’t enticed by my favorite candy, but he loves chocolate- the darker the better. Just as my husband and I don’t share the same sweet tooth, we don’t all share the same sin weakness. But we all share a weakness for sin. We receive a new heart upon salvation that hungers to do only the will of God, but our flesh retains the selfish tendency to rebel against God’s ways.
The sweet aroma of sin will always be an enticement while we remain on earth. Knowing something is a sin doesn't stop our sweet tooth from craving its temporary pleasure. It's a weakness the enemy knows and exploits. He tempts us with the very things he knows to be our sin weakness.
God warns us to be vigilant and ever-ready for attack; sin is crouching at the door wanting to consume us. Yet, He also promises for every temptation we'll be given a way out-if we seek it. The secret is recognizing it quickly for what it really is and taking the right action before it's hypnotic sweetness dulls our conscience. Often, I fail but when I pass the test it's because of these actions:
Admit You Are Powerless-
Alone we lack the power to conquer the temptation to sin. We need a deliverer with limitless power. Don't attempt to try to handle it alone. Give up looking to your own strength and cry out in surrender. Ask for His power to give you a way out.
Remember Who You Are-
The real you is not your flesh; that is a false echo of your former self. Your true identity- who you were created to be- came with your new heart. When under attack, remind yourself of who and whose you are. Speak the words.
Establish Boundaries in Advance-
To maintain sobriety, a recovering alcoholic refrains from spending time in bars. As a recovering sinner, refrain from the things that typically cause you to fall. Establish boundaries of where, what, and with who you will or won’t do things in advance and stick to them. In battle, the best offense is a good defense.
Seek Out an Accountability Partner-
We're more likely to change engrained behavior when we have an accountability partner, someone who will both encourage and challenge us. The process of sharing our commitment to change motivates us to follow through. And the act of confessing our failure propels us to a higher level of commitment. We can try to fool ourselves but a good accountability partner will see right through us and lovingly kick us in the pants.
Don't become complacent with sin. It’s appealing to convince ourselves that if our sin weakness isn’t an obvious sin like adultery, murder, or theft, we no longer have a problem with it. Yet, that's nothing but self deception. Simply because our sin is not readily apparent doesn’t mean its non-existent. God’s word is clear; all sin- whether big or little in human eyes- separates us from God. It blocks our relationship with the Father and hinders our growth to becoming the person He intended us to be.
Message for the Journey:
It takes a continual process of self-examination, confession, and repentance to keep our walk with God pure. Sin is always crouching at the door waiting for a chance to come into our lives. We will fall but when we do, if we confess and repent, we will always receive God’s mercy.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10:13
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