I read her book. She was taught right from wrong. And she followed biblical principles. Life was good. But one bad decision led to another bad decision. Her life began to spiral downward. Then one night, she found herself making a decision to do something she knew was wrong. But oh. It felt so right. In the moment, it felt so right. So she did it.
Now she thinks nothing of doing that thing which once seemed so wrong. The thing she once would have never done, she began doing in secret. Now it’s her lifestyle. She’s living a life she once vowed never to live.
Just because something feels right in the moment doesn’t make it right. It’s easy to ignore a prick of the conscience in the moment. It’s the later regrets that are harder to set aside. The self chiding. The self inflicted shame and loathing. But then it’s too late to go back and undo what’s been. It’s too late to unsay those words.
So why do it? Why say it? Those things that will later become regrets. Why not turn from them while there’s still time? Why not live so close to God that you immediately turn the other way when sin approaches? Just because you hear a knock on the door doesn’t mean you have to answer it.
Oh. It’s true. We’re human. We’re going to mess up from time to time. We’re going to fall short of our goal. But if we habitually do it, that tells another story.
You have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. Romans 8:12
How do we go wrong? How do we suddenly choose to go to the other side? How do we wake up one day and realize we’re in a place we thought we would never be? How did we get there? Oh. It isn’t a sudden choice. We let down our defenses. We lower our standards. We stop looking to the One who guides us.
How does a believer stay true to their beliefs when opportunities to choose another path surround us?
I ask because I want to make sure I’m always listening for God’s voice. Oh. Sometimes He leads me in paths that are not my choosing. But I must follow the path He chooses. Or else I would be sinning.
Even Jesus was tempted by Satan. Satan tried to woo him away from his beliefs, but Jesus’ faith held strong. Satan tempted Jesus when he was physically weak from fasting. But he had the inner strength to resist. He said no. He quoted Scripture to Satan and resisted. We can do the same when Satan tries to tempt us to do wrong. to step out of the will of God. We can resist. We can turn Satan away by quoting Scripture and telling him to leave. We can stand firm in our faith.
Disobedience to God doesn’t always have to be some big ugly public act. It may be an act of private defiance or selfishness that only God sees. A work of the inner heart. Going when God says stay. Or staying when God says go. It doesn’t have to be a sin that puts you in the public eye.
Discontentment sets in where peace once reigned. All because the grass looked greener on the other side. Or perhaps wanting became a hot pursuit in a never ending cycle. And we couldn’t stop with what we had. A little more was never enough. Or living on the edge is more exciting than obedience.
We can’t have it both ways. Either we’re pursuing a holy life or we’re not. Which is it?
At some point, we have to ask ourselves. Am I living in the grip of sin? I don’t want to. I know that. But how do I make sure I’m always out of sin’s beck and call? John Piper says that fighting sin is mortal combat. I agree. We’re in a fight for our souls. We’re not fighting flesh and blood. We’re fighting against evil rulers of the unseen world. Oh. It may seem that we’re fighting individuals, at times. But really. It’s a spiritual battle. The truth is. If we’re living as believers, we are not at sin’s beck and call. We can say no.