Sunday, February 11, 2024
by David Brenneman
There are certain precursors to knowing that there's dangers ahead while driving...if you're not distracted.
These are probably the things, that after an accident, we beat ourselves up over wondering why we didn't see them.
In your everyday life you have warnings that spiritual forces are trying to drag you off the path that God has in mind for you. Their best methods are when you willingly allow yourself to indulge in things that make you "happy"...and you go overboard. You sacrifice your time with Jesus "just this once"...and that happens again...and again. The next thing you know is you're out of the habit of meeting with Jesus altogether. You'll forget the fellowship you were having with Him.
Warning signs that can be remembered can be summarized in the HALT perspective.
Are you HUNGRY?
Has someone or something made you ANGRY?
Are you feeling LONELY?
Has it been a long day, or has the day just been so filled with stuff that you're TIRED?
HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY, TIRED.
I am no different than anyone else in fighting to keep my place walking with Jesus. If possible at all, I might lose sleep, but I will keep my commitment to reading before going to bed. Regardless of what causes the delay.
My personal fighting with me is in regards to where my thoughts can go. My sin nature wants its own way. Tries to get me to ride a train of thought that has but one destination. I am so grateful to the Spirit in causing me to consider carefully that I need to stop n remind me that I need to tell that sin nature "No! I love Jesus more!".
It's just a little sin isn't it? That's what Satan would have you think.
All the little sins and all the big ones...are what held Jesus on the cross my Dear Reader. There's no such thing as a simple sin nor an inconsequential sin. Sin is sin, it's rebellion against the Holy God of the Bible.
"God will understand..." You're going to go there? You're going to excuse your behavior in that way? By claiming that your circumstances would be "understood" by God so that makes it ok??
Proverbs 7...King Solomon writes of how slippery a slope temptations can be.
"My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding you intimate friend; That they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him And with a brazen face she says to him: "I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. Therefore I have come out to meet you, To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, With colored linens of Egypt. I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.”
With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death."
Temptations are not going to be wrapped with warning labels such as "Keep out of reach of children" Will not say "Danger ahead!". Will not easily show itself for what it is.
Our sin nature is first and foremost all about self. It began in the Garden of Eden being about Adam and Eve being talked into the notion that the Lord was keeping something from them that really was supposed to be GOOD for them. How dare He! They DESERVED what was on that tree!
See that slippery slope?
My Dear Reader...consider your ways! Isn't that what the Bible says? Haggai 1:7? "Thus says the Lord of Hosts "Consider your ways!".
No we don't have to give into temptation. We choose to. The cross of Jesus Christ brought choice back to the table. We can choose to obey God or obey our sin nature. We're to put off the old self and it's practices. Practices is what Paul refers to in what we willingly decide to do. Practiced sin is sin we willingly choose to engage in. Sexual sins are possibly the most well known practiced sins but its likely not the greatest out there.
What are you thinking, holding onto, choosing, that's not at all part of the righteous life that God desires for you? Don't lie and say nothing because God is your witness that isn't the case. Everyone has a daily battle with their sin nature. In big ways and small ways its there.
Consider HALT. Consider your ways. Consider who will benefit from your choices and decisions regarding temptation. Consider the truth that sin is what caused Jesus to come, live a sinless life you couldn't live, died on a cross to keep you from that penalty. Arose 3 days later, satisfying the need for a perfect sacrifice to atone for sin. Providing the way to live a life that's holy and acceptable to our righteous Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Just because you can do something doesn't immediately follow that you must do that thing.
Just because others find it acceptable doesn't follow that God's word says its acceptable.
Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
The warning signs are there...the Spirit says "Keep on the alert!"
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.