Sin: an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
Love: an intense feeling of deep affection.
Worldly: of or concerned with material values or ordinary life rather than a spiritual existence.
Godly: devoutly religious; pious
Isn’t it amazing how much sweeter and more beautiful the nice definitions look? As Christians, we know these words like the back of our hands and yet we turn these words into actions every single day. We turn a three letter word (sin), into a living, breathing, thing. If God was standing directly in front of us and asked us what we’d rather have….we’d choose Love and Godliness over Sin and Worldliness any day. So, why is it that we chose them over God on an average day. . . because God isn’t here? Wrong. He is here. He’s living, breathing, working. So what is our issue? Why are we so easily pulled away from God?
Sometimes it is hard to remember that God is watching our every single move, crafting the paths before us, writing the next page of our book before we’ve even turned the page, and sculpting this glorious life for us as we are in the midst of committing sin. Personally, I feel like I’ve been drowning in an ocean of sin since being home for the summer and certainly, I know I am at many disadvantages for being a young Christian. I don’t have a spiritual family, I don’t have a schedule, I don’t have a strong church family, and I have zero Christian friends. I am basically set up to fail but I can’t use that excuse anymore. I chose not to read my Bible, pray, or make the choices that are going to set me up for spiritual success and give me a deeper relationship with my Lord. I am so grateful that I worship a Lord of second chances and mercy but I feel the call of the Holy Spirit to help young people redirect their eyes on Jesus and keep them there because I know I struggle in this area of my faith as well. I want to call attention to what is happening in the moments from when we take our eyes of Jesus to when we finally restore our sight because this is the biggest danger zone for any Christian.
Sin is brought on by temptation which is produced by the devil. Literally. It is actually impossible to not sin and I’m not saying we are supposed to be perfect but the issue is when we consecutively sin WILLINGLY and stray away from the core of our beliefs. The issue is when we start putting faith in our own choices and not in God or when we think we know better than God. We don’t dictate our lives, God does. Temptation arises in times when the devil knows we are most vulnerable. When we are home alone and suddenly the computer starts calling you to watch things you shouldn’t be or when we are at a party and we are the only ones not pounding back beers and suddenly alcohol looks so much sweeter. When we are at a family party and the gossip starts and we have to choose whether to join in and be included or to get up and not participate in hurtful words. The devil tempts us when he thinks he can win. It is so much easier to not sin when we are surrounded by strong people of faith or when we are deep in the Word or when our prayer game is strong because our relationship with God gets deeper and harder for the devil to penetrate. When we stop reading, praying, hanging out with disciples of Jesus, and stop fixating our eyes on things above, the devil makes us his little puppets. We are no longer strongly attached to anything sturdy or sacred, making it easier for Satan to manipulate us to stray further away from what is most important. Truthfully, the more we stop doing things for the Lord, the harder it is to start again. We skip reading our bibles for a day and all of a sudden it’s been a month since we’ve read. We have to be stronger than this! We can’t make ourselves bait for the devil. We can’t put ourselves in these vulnerable spots so Satan can rejoice in our misery. . . and his victory.
Someone told me once that we get two choices. . . you either do something for God or for Satan. There is no in between and how incredibly true is that? The issue here is Satan has this way of making everything seem so pretty and easy. Fitting in seems easy, pleasure seems great, and focusing on ourselves seem glorious. Satan is like a sugar coated piece of garbage. At first, it seems wonderful and unimaginable but as time goes on things become bitter and harsh. He pulls us down this path that is full of gum drops and so-called rewards just to drop of off at destination hell. God is different. His path seems more rocky, more dangerous, more unknowing, more sacrificial but his destination is warm and loving and full of peace. When we stray away from God we miss out on moments of grace, peace, mercy, hope, love, and fulfillment because we thought we knew better for ourselves. We realize this mistake after we begin to feel empty again. After we find ourselves depressed or blue because the reality is that Satan doesn’t care about us. He cares about himself. He cares about making God unhappy and we satisfy this every single time we give in and travel down his path and the farther we go. . . the harder it is to turn around and find God in the midst of all the darkness.
Straying away from God is like sitting in a float on a lazy river, everything seems fine at first and it’s calm. You decide to take off your life vest and just enjoy the ride without the extra weight and rules. The farther down the river you go, the stronger the current gets and you start getting a little nervous but you keep telling yourself it’ll pass but it doesn’t. The lazy river streams right into an ocean. You float into the middle of the sea and wonder how you got there. You are confused, lost, and do not have a life-saving vest. The only option you have is to try to swim back but the waves are too much, you keep getting sucked under water because you don’t have your life vest. The only things you can do is hope the coast guards find you and save you before it is too late. You know how you can prevent the drowning in your own sin? By having a durable and protectant life vest, being God. The issue is we want God to save us after we’ve done so damage already. We prevent sin by being strong Christians. Sure, God is forgiving and merciful but we take it for granted. He pays our bail every single time but wasn’t his blood enough? We as Christians need to stop straying away because God has never, and I mean never, taken his eyes off of us for a second even when we lose sight of Him for months or even years. We need to stop putting the nails back in Jesus’s hands and start putting the Bible in our own.
Choosing the world over God not only hurts our souls and your faith but it hurts God as well. It saddens Him to see us follow the world instead of his magnificent plan for us. We have to trust in him even if the path seems scary. We have to stop giving the devil the glory in our everyday lives. We have to stop thinking it is okay to go months without reading his perfect Word because it’s not. What happens when we fall away from God? We lose sight of everything that matters in this life. It doesn’t matter if we fall away for an hour or three years. Falling away from the creator of all things wonderful is one of the biggest tragedies in any believers life. We have to fixate our eyes on Jesus, keep our hands together in prayer, make our tongues soft, and turn our hearts to God long before we dig ourselves into trouble. God wants the best for us and we have to give up our pride in thinking that we know what that is. The Lord is unpredictable and without warning but that is what makes Him so amazing. He gives us things when we need them most and at times when we least expect it. Remember this. The world can’t do that for us. Jesus is the only answer for what we need.
Be in your Bibles. Be deep in prayer. Build deep relationships with believers. Get a sturdy life vest and do not drown. I love you all. It is never too late to turn around re-create your relationship with God, He is waiting for you. I’ll be praying for you. – Lex