We’d like to think sin is hidden away where no one can see it, but it’s not. It’s not simply done in the darkness that comes with the night, but in the darkness of our hearts and minds in the middle of the day. There are days that I walk oblivious to it all. Not paying attention to my surroundings. There are other days, where the darkness screams out at me from others all around. It’s not my judgement of them, but what I so acutely recognize of myself in what I see. I see the hiddenness of sin with a foothold in the daylight. I see what was once hidden away now embraced by a world tainted by the thistles and thorns of hell.
Maybe it’s the kind of day it is while I’m writing this. It’s rainy, dreary, and cold. Couple that with my own struggles and you have today’s meanderings of my mind. For whatever reason, today is a day where my eyes feel most opened. I see people hiding in dark corners of restaurants, feeding their gluttonous mouths, far away from anyone who knows them and yet they still feel eyes on them, judging them for their poor choices. No one could be paying them any mind, but the conviction of guilt weighs on them and they wonder and plot how they might be different or better. They rally within themselves a cry of, “I’ll do things different tomorrow.” Unfortunately, tomorrow is always the next day and we use tomorrow as a rallying cry to do nothing today.
I see it in the monitor of my computer. I don’t need to look at porn side by side with someone to know that it’s not always simply allowing the flesh to take over, but a war. A battle that we may lose sometimes. No different from a battle with alcohol, drugs, overeating, or controlling you anger. It’s no different for people who carry an obession with following the rules. These things become god-like to them. They become in their minds, something worthy of worship and importance. You don’t have to agree with me, but there are people who stand on the precipice of sin and on any given day that person can walk away unscathed as they refuse to bow down, and in the very next day, go hurtling over the edge.
I see it all around me. I see it in me. I see so clearly the battle between sinner and saint. Even as I write, I could not honestly say that I fight with all that I am or with reckless abandon or in desperate need of survival. Even my weak struggle to do what’s right against what’s wrong is tainted by my old sin-sick self. But there is a fight! If anything gives me hope, it’s not tallying up all my “wins.” It is knowing there is a fight in me, though weak at times and desperate for victory. It is knowing that faith continues the fight. It is knowing that His Spirit strengthens me for battle and that my Savior whispers forgiveness in my ear even as he stands before the Father, interceding on my behalf.
If there is ever a greater fear in me, it’s when I have no fight left. That I would be so overcome by my sin that I give in to it with barely a thought of its wickedness or its poison that corrupts. I take no credit for the fight in me, but give to God what is good. That if there was a struggle, whether a physical restraining and turning from sin or a wrestling of the mind, that it is the presence of God residing in me, empowering my muscles to turn from wickedness, firing the correct synapses of the brain to bring about the best decisions. If that is not there, and I leap with no care into whatever comes my way, that is what I fear the most, because then I have made the devil my deity and sin the worship I bring him.
There are days I feel too close to that precipice. So much so, that as I peek over, it doesn’t look nearly as steep and I think I could probably climb down a bit and see what’s there to see. I can get a little closer, a little lower, a little deeper. That gradual climb down doesn’t seem nearly as dangerous or life threatening. Only a few feet to the bottom. So I land and survey all there is see. Satisfied, I begin to make my way back up and with each step up a foot hold crumbles under me and with hands grasping ever higher, every notch on the side of a now mountainous climb turns to dust.
Left with no way up, the only path that remains before you is sin. This is the moment for many when they choose to remain in the faith that God placed in them, even if just a mustard seed remains or leave towards a valley of death and destruction.
If there is any struggle in you, Christ is your hope.
Any resistance to forging on ahead towards sin, God is your strength.
Turn back toward the bottom of that mountain you scaled down, there is a ladder of grace waiting to rescue you.
Climb it, not by your will, but by the will of Christ Jesus who strengthens your weak body as you climb.
Climb it, in humble admission that despite your desire to dance with sin, God still calls you to be His bride and declares you clean.
Climb it, knowing all the more that as a sheep who strays, God is always rescuing those who turn back in repentance and faith.
My hope is you hear the heart behind this words.