No Christian sets out to be away from the Lord, backslidden, and in sin. Yet, many find themselves in a place far from where God wants them to be. Ensnared in sin, many Christians wonder how they wound up in such a mess. Maybe you are in such a spot. Today you find yourself spiritually bankrupt, and feeling like the prodigal son in the pig pen.
How do Christians end up in sinfulness, away from the Lord? James 1:13-15 gives us some insight. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The procedure of sin is simple:
First, our flesh tempts us. We all have temptations that we are drawn to, and a vice for one individual may be totally different for another. Desire is a key component of this. Desire is when we are drawn away… it is that feeling that we just want to have.
Second, our flesh entices us. We are deceived into thinking it will be worth it. We want it so bad, and our flesh begins to convince us that the consequences will be minor in comparison to the reward. We begin to justify our thinking and sin, and begin to rationalize our desires.
Third, our sin is conceived. Here we design our sin. A plan is hatched of how to get what we want and have tricked ourselves into thinking will be ok. Sin is no longer a subconscious struggle, it is starting to become a plan of action.
Fourth, we sin. This is where disobedience occurs. We break God’s law, which we know to be sin. Desire led to deception, deception led to design, design led to disobedience… but it doesn’t stop there.
Fifth and final, sin brings forth death. Sin only has the compacity to destroy in the end. Sin ruins lives, wrecks relationships, and destroys dreams.
The simple truth is that the longer the process is allowed to go, the more sin will happen. If you don’t want to sin, don’t allow the process to gain traction. We cannot help temptation, but we can limit it. If there are things that tempt you, stay away from them.
When temptation does occur, don’t allow yourself to be enticed. The lures look good to the fish until they are caught. It may seem like there are no consequences, but sin will bring forth death. Put safe guards in place to catch you when temptation arises. An accountability partner, filters, and safety nets will catch you when you are falling.
Even if the first two areas are breeched, you can still stop the process in the planning phase. Don’t allow sin to be designed. If you have made it to this level, it will be very hard to stop. It is at this point you usually need the help of another. Have someone you can call, or someone who will call you. Set it up so you know you will get caught.
In our text, we find a very sad and gross story. A lady is viciously raped and hacked to pieces, men are trying to commit sodomy, civil war breaks out, women are stolen for wives, and so much more. I’m sure Israel never thought they would reach these depths of depravity, and yet here they are. If someone had told the generation after Joshua, “you stay on this path, and you will end up like Sodom”, they would have laughed in their face. Yet here they are.
Sin took them so much further than they ever wanted to go. It has torn their nation apart, and created a culture of great sinfulness. The book of Judges has shown us just how much sin can spiral out of control.
If you are struggling with sin, stop the vicious cycle. Seek the grace of God, and find a place of repentance. Find help from a brother or sister in Christ, and purpose to return home from the pig pen of sin.
Remember temptation is not an isolated occurrence, it comes to everyone. Each person’s temptation is different, but you will be drawn away of your OWN lust… so be ready. You don’t have to sin, by God’s grace you can stop.
Daily Scripture Reading
Judges 19 - 21
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”