Sin In An Instant…Vs Obedience   Leave a comment

Okay, so a while ago I stated to a very good friend of mine that we always have a choice of whether or not we sin. At that time, it made sense to me, but upon further reflection, something new came to me while praying…

But first, let me start with this: To my friend (you know who you are) I was wrong.

Sin CAN happen in an instant. Even without choice. (Or even without knowledge.) I was reminded of a time when a person came up to me and asked me a question; Now I consider myself a truthful and honest person, and I strive to be so, but for some reason, even though I honestly had no reason to lie to this individual, I did just that; I lied and gave the individual false information. It happened SO quickly and without any conscious thought whatsoever. I was so stunned by the fact that I had just lied so quickly, so easily, and without any reason to even do so, that I just sort of stood there while the person walked away.
Now, I felt that had happened for a reason, Because back then, I prided myself on my honesty. I believe God was showing me I had nothing to be proud of, and that I was certainly not perfect in that department (as I probably had previously thought), and fully capable of lying. It was a humbling lesson. But I digress…

The point is, sin CAN happen that quickly. Now, that doesn’t mean it always does, or even should. (More on that in a bit.)
You see, there are many factors involved that determine how much time, if any, a person has to choose the action. Here are just a few:

  • The person – how close they are to God. Their particular weaknesses. Their particular beliefs, desires, likes, dislikes, personality, disposition, etc. etc
  • The circumstance – this can vary so much and be so numerous it would be impossible to list.
  • Time – Timing is everything they say. And to a great degree, this is true. If you aren’t in a good state of mind, ie, prepared to resist sin, bad timing could be your undoing.
  • Propensity towards certain sins (we all have sin that easily besets us). But again, this has so many varying factors, it differs from individual to individual.
  • Preparation, or lack thereof. This sort of goes along with how close one is to God. But this will segue into my next point.
  • I’m sure one could come up with a myriad of other factors…but onto my next point…

So depending on the individual, and varying factors, sin can either come almost instantly, or one can have time to think about what they are doing before they do it.

BUT… While sin may not always be a choice…Obedience is.

At first, one may think that statement is a bit contradictory, or think, “Isn’t that the same thing?” Well…maybe it is at face value…but if you think about it, if you think about what it takes to obey God, I think it will begin to make a lot of sense.

Obedience, comes from a knowledge and understanding of God. It comes from a repentant heart. We SEE sin as sin, and we start making changes to strive against sin; To instead, obey our God; to conform to His perfect will and righteous character.

This is something that doesn’t always come spur of the moment. We have to be striving daily. Preparing to resist sin BEFORE sin comes knocking. This is a choice we make BEFORE we are faced with sin. Like working out. When I worked out, my muscles were growing stronger. I could then lift heavier things with ease, more so than I could before. I was prepared in that sense to lift heavier items in everyday life.

So, if one is preparing ahead of time, they are much more ready to resist sin when it arises. They have given themselves more time to make the right choice to not sin by making the choice to obey ahead of time. They have drawn closer to God, they have acknowledged Him in their ways ahead of time, before the temptation arises. They have made a choice ahead of time of obedience.

It’s interesting to point out…when Christ knew the devil would be coming to tempt Him, what did He do? He made a choice to obey ahead of time didn’t He? He went and fasted and prayed to draw on The Father’s strength. So that when the temptation to sin was brought to the fore, He was able to make the right choice. He was able to make the right choice, because the choice was already made before sin came to tempt.

This is our perfect example. In this world, throughout our lives, there are many…many….MANY opportunities to sin. Some we will resist. Some we will fall to. Some come on quickly giving us little if any time to think…some start in our minds and work their way slowly to the surface, to action. Some come like drops of water in a bucket. We are able to resist at first, but eventually our strength fades. But the more we choose to obey, and prepare ourselves by submitting to God’s will, praying, fasting, drawing closer to Him now, the more we will be able to resist sin when it arises. We make the choice NOW to obey. The more we make that choice, the easier it becomes to make the right choice when the opportunity to sin arises, because we are more prepared, and this gives us more time to stop and think before we act. Does this guarantee perfection? No. For we are human. And we know what the bible says about our carnal nature and hearts. But as we work to bury the old person, to put that old person to death daily, and to be the new creation we are intended to be, the more strength we have, when we need it.

We will still sin. But we will be able to resist it a little more, and a little more, and a little more. A little longer each time, and a little longer. But before we can make such choices to not sin when it arises, we have to choose obedience ahead of time.

Some sins will hit us quicker, and easier than others. Some sins will be more like water off a duck’s back than others. And again, it all varies from person to person. So we need to prepare ahead of time. God gives us this opportunity…over, and over, and over, and over… He gives us the freedom to choose. So we need to make our choice to obey now. Set it in our hearts and in our minds. God gives us not only the power to chose, but the tools to back up that choice; but we even have to choose to use those tools. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even that is a choice.

Again, we won’t reach perfection in our physical lives, but the more we choose to obey, the more opportunity we will be afforded to make the right choices when sin is at our door.

Obedience is always the choice.

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Posted August 3, 2013 by buildupontherock in Simply Put

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