Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vigilance Against Sin - Part Two

Back to our "discussion" about being vigilant against sin...

Often times we allow ourselves to get into places where it is easy to fall into sin. Not only do we often place ourselves in situations, or among certain people, that bring with them temptation, but even our physical state can cause us to be more apt to sin. For example, when I become too tired or hungry, I am more likely to fall into the sin of angry outbursts (2 Corinthians 12:20) with my children or my husband. I have learned that my body needs certain periods of rest and regular food intake along with all of my daily activities to keep me from behaving in a way that is against every part of my Spirit, yet gratifies my flesh. When I act out towards those I love the most in anger, my Spirit recoils in shame and frustration, but for a brief nano second, my flesh cries out "Oh yeah, relief!"

As a younger woman I spent alot of time with friends having "play dates" with our young children. I now, for the most part, avoid these. Why? Because for me, they often lead to the temptation to sin in the area of my thoughts and/or speech. I learned a hard lesson years ago, when my oldest was little about getting together with girlfriends. The conversations often turned into gripe sessions about our husbands or just talking about other girlfriends who weren't present. We might not necessarily be discussing anything against someone else, but rather just talking about things that were really none of our business. The scripture does have something to say about that! (1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12; 1 Timothy 5:13 specifically refers to young widows, but applies here as well). Awful!!! But true.

Women in the workplace do the same thing (and I know that there are men who fall into this temptation as well, though not as frequently as we women I'm ashamed to say). How many times have you started a new job, only to find at least one person who will almost immediately ready to give you the "low down" on the other employees. Steer clear!!! Watch, lest you fall.

I could go on and on about the types of areas that can cause a person who loves the Lord to be tempted and fall into sin, but instead, let's look at what we should do to prevent that from happening. We are called to resist and flee from temptation (James 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:22), not to take it lightly, not to laugh about it, not to joke about it, but to RUN FROM IT!!!

Looking back again at the study I mentioned in the first part of this devotional writing, The Lord's Table, the author writes -

"Jesus Christ declared that He whom the Son sets free will be free indeed (John 8:36). And part of His work of making us free is to help us to be vigilant. May we not be as those who walk many years in victory, only to fall through lack of vigilance. Watch and pray. Here are some specific ways we can do this: Make sure to attend a Bible-believing church (Hebrews 10:25). The importance of this cannot be overemphasized.

  • Have daily accountability (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Hebrews 3:13)
  • Seek the Lord daily (Proverbs 2:1-5; Hebrews 11:6)
  • Drag every known sin, and even temptation (so sin) into the light. If you are struggling with something, humble yourself and talk to someone about it. (John 3:19-21).

We must be mindful of our weaknesses and careful not to expose ourselves to them as much as possible. When we are put into situations that we know cause us to be weak, we must be extra vigilant and watch for it, because it will come.

I am reminded that death to my self (flesh) is a daily process, not a one time experience. It is a daily responsibility for the Believer to crucify their flesh and to take up their cross and follow after Him, learning to pursue Him in EVERY area of our lives. (Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24; Galatians 2:20; Mark 10:21)

Matthew 10:38

"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."

Learning to die daily,

1 comment:

john john said...

My problem is the harder I try, the worse I do. The more I pray, read the Word, avoid stuff, the harder and faster I fall. I do better not trying. Paul said as much in Romans 7:17-24 in the NLT
Thats just me. Im rotten to the core, no matter what I do or how hard I try. Have given up.