Monday, September 13, 2010

The Commonest Killer in the Bible and in Life

“Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, ‘God is trying to trip me up.’ God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”

~James 1:13-15 (Msg).

James, as always, cuts to the chase. We’re left under no false illusions in this particular case. No one can ever truthfully contemplate that the ‘trip ups’ of life come from God.

In other versions the word for “lust” above is “desire,” and it is this human desire gone beyond the scope of God’s will that produces sin, and that, tantamount to death.

Meeting and Quelling the Aberrant Desire

Desires are normal. We have the healthy desire to eat, drink and even to make love to our partners. But the motioning of life often pushes our intent beyond reason. This is the aberrant desire; it goes beyond God’s safe boundaries.

For those of us who’ve ever wanted to twist the form of life to meet our own selfish ends we’ve known the aberrant desire. No one bar Jesus is excluded from this list.

Whether we’ve hungered after a life partner, thought possessively about that promotion, or sought that car or house with a consuming passion, doesn’t matter; none of us are immune to the aberrant desire.

We all have issues with our overweening desires.

Knowing This as the Basis of Sin

The lusting desire is insidious as it’s deadly. It creeps up on us and it’s destined to be a continual threat. No one can control it evermore. We can only hope to be kept aware of it—and this is the Spirit’s role in unison with our consciences.

This is why we’re in need of God so much. The world, otherwise, would have our consciences seared so that we’d not acknowledge or care about our sin. And so even if we do care about it—and we must—God has already provided a Saviour in Jesus who paid for our sin in full.

So, there is no guilt or shame... ever. There is only left, thanks, and on from that, praise of God.

As we’re made consciously aware of our desires we keep them in check by constantly enquiring of them and of God.

Again, this is the Holy Spirit’s role. We see here that far from it is God to trip us up into the pit of sin; on the contrary we’re highlighted of our sin by God. It’s the devil that would seek to trick us that God would entice us in sin.

God, however, in truth, is on the opposite side of things, protecting us from the temptation to sin—through the Saviour—through common-place and practical faith, the strength of fellowship, the wisdom of discipleship et cetera.

Now it remains...

This common killer—sin—is bearing down on us.

It is only God’s Spirit that can save us... right here, right now.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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