Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tossing Keys

I was in my front yard the other day, absent-mindedly tossing my keys in the air. Now, because of my job, I have a lot of keys. Add keys to the house, gun safe and locks, document safe, etc... you end up with a pretty big bundle of keys.

So anyway...I gradually kept tossing the keys higher and higher. Finally, at one point, I hauled back and tossed the keys as high as I could. As the keys were coming back down, I placed my hands in position to catch them.  A gazillion keys, sharp points spinning in various directions. Not a good idea.

Sin can be like that.  Sometimes we get in trouble not because we start off with a desire to sin, but because we flirt with the line so often that we lose sight of where we are. We start off with entertaining a thought. Rather than exercising control over the thought (2 Corinthians 10:5), we nurture and feed it, until it eventually breaks the barrier between thought and action. When we finally catch ourselves, it's too late and we're trying to figure out how we got to where we are now.

James 1:13-15 says:

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 speaks of being lured and enticed.  He does not speak of a sudden fall, but a gradual sliding into disobedience.  This slide comes from our own desires. We will not be tempted with things that hold no sway over us.  Instead, it is our own desires that will be manifested in our thoughts.  The desire to sin is already there.  That is human nature.  It is no defense to say that if we were meant to be free from sin, we would not have the desire.  

Instead, we must strive for self-control. We cannot give in to all of our desires. We must bring our desires and thoughts under God's control and trust Him to help us obtain the victory. Otherwise, uncontrolled thoughts will give birth to sin, and sin will separate us from communion with God.   And although catching my keys will not kill me, living a life in sin will bring forth eternal death and will ensure eternal separation from God.

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