STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 2: The Sin Also Known As
“Since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” – Hebrews 2:14-15
“I couldn’t help myself!”
“I don’t know what got into me!”
“I don’t know what I was thinking!”
“I don’t know what possessed me to do that!”
When people make these statements after being caught in a sin, it is easy to think that they are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility. However, just because you know that you are a sinner does not mean that you cannot be surprised by your own sin or by your lack of resistance to it. These statements are not excuses. They are expressions of despair at the realization of how little of our will-power is left after we agree to let some sin in through the door. We go into the alliance with sin prepared to give up one thing in order to enjoy one particular aspect of sin, but we come out empty because not only does sin give less than it promises to deliver, but it also takes more than we are prepared to surrender. We go into sin believing that we are entering a partnership over which we have control, only to come out realizing that we entered a slavery to which we have lost all control.
“I will just sin a little bit”
“I will repent of the sin after I am done enjoying it”
These are statements of self-deception, and they represent our state of mind in the valley of temptation. In that valley, we are tempted to believe that if we establish a relationship with sin, it is we who will be in control of how much of the sin we’ll get into and how long we will stay in it. In the valley of temptation, sin does not appear as the slave-master it really is. Instead, our vision is blurred by sin’s ability to camouflage itself so that what are really metallic shackles for our enslavement appear to us as shining bracelets for our adornment. The only way we can see sin in truth is by distrusting our view of it entirely and relying on the view of another whose vantage point is neither corrupted by a sinful deed nor corruptible by a sinful desire. If we refuse to see sin through the eyes of God, then the only other way to see its enslaving power is by becoming its slave. We realize too late that any sin we entertain slowly wraps its chains around us and makes us believe that what we are getting is jewelry, when in fact we are subjecting ourselves to lifelong slavery to the greatest tyrant in the history of mankind; a tyrant who comes both in swarms (for where one sin is, there another shall be) and in arms, fully loaded with an arsenal of death and suffering. That Jesus’ exclusive power to break the enslaving power of sin is often spurned by sinners is a testament to how unrelenting a slave master sin can be. Sin is an easy dungeon to walk into and an impossible fortress to walk out of. If Jesus sets you free, not only are you free indeed, but you should not come anywhere near its chains again.
Keep the Faith