Whenever you get one thing under control it seems that a number of other things pop up to take its place. This happens in all areas of life especially in dealing with sin.
Do you remember the summer nights when we would sleep with the windows open and hear coyotes down at the creek? The lonesome howling would send shivers up my spine. We were so careful to shut the chickens up safely in their pen, as well as all the other livestock that needed to be protected. Well, I haven’t heard the shrill barking recently. It seems hunters have taken care of this problem. But now we have other issues!!
The Disappearance of Coyotes Created Other Problems
With the disappearance of the coyotes, our newest problem has become bunnies. I know that bunnies are cute and harmless, but they replicate quickly, and a whole swarm of them have taken over the fields around our house. Every day I count numerous babies crossing the road and darting into the corn. And those are only the ones I see.
My morning walks have become a regular tug of war with Apache as she becomes alert to every movement in the brush beside the bike path. The tug of the chase is in her blood, and it has taken all my strength to keep her under control sometimes. Needless to say, my walks are not very relaxing. Of course, the muscles in my left arm has gotten much stronger!
It got me to thinking how we often pay attention to “big sins” in our life. We know we shouldn’t murder, commit adultery, or steal, and often we feel we have gotten those “coyote sins” under control. But unbeknownst to us, our “small sins” start reproducing and take over our life. These are things like greed, jealousy, unjust criticism, bad attitudes, self-centeredness, gossip, gluttony . . . the list could go on and on. Somehow these sins are comfortable, soft and cute, like the little bunnies. They become familiar, and we don’t see them as a problem.
But they are!!
Sin is sin!
It needs to be dealt with . . . and often with RADICAL measures.
RADICAL Measures for Dealing with Sin
Reading God’s Word – God convicts us through the Bible. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Alertness – Our adversary, the devil, longs to trip us up. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Determination – We must determine to obey fully all that God says. “Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.” (Psalm 119:34)
Inclining Your Ear – Listen for God’s voice. “Now, therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” (Joshua 24:23)
Confession – “He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” (Proverbs 28:13)
Accountability – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)
Longevity– The plan needs to be for life. “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.” (Proverbs 119:33)
Walking with Apache down a road hopping with little bunnies is not always enjoyable. Experience has taught me I need to stay alert if I don’t want to be yanked off my feet.
Likewise, sin of all types can take you unawares. Make sure you don’t get lax thinking you have life under control just because you don’t hear any howling coyotes. Instead, put these RADICAL measures in place, and nothing, not even seemingly harmless sin, will jerk you off the path God has for you.