It was another one of those hot Saturdays, I just needed to get a breath of fresh air. So, I packed my camera bag and set out to retrace some of my old photo-venture trails. Somehow, I found myself along the rocky side of the island and I felt like taking a turn I had never tried before. Then, I had an encounter (too close for comfort) with a snake – not just any kind of small worm-like garden snake – it was a nice, fat, HOODED snake – yes, a cobra.
Words cannot even begin to describe the panic that set the moment I saw it. Yes, I had always known that in an island (such as the one I live on) full of trees, boulders and crevices, there would be untold numbers of creatures lurking, hiding. In fact, part of the thrill of photo-venturing was the reminder that there were dangerous things out there. The only thing was, now that danger was all too real.
So, when I saw that scaly body not even a foot away from where I was standing, all I could think of was to run.
“Snakes… you either kill them or you run away from them – fast…”
Sin, is like that too in many respects.
I’m not saying that snakes are inherently evil – but sin definitely is. No matter how people might want to view it sin is despicable, ugly and destructive. It is anything and everything that separates us from God.
I used to be in bondage to sin. I could not stop doing the very things that I hated, the very things that brought me so much pain and suffering. All my attempts at ‘cleaning up’ were in vain. I was but a slave and sin my master.
Today, in many ways, I am still the same person I was before – the same proclivities, same inclinations, same carnal desires — but after having repented and returned to God I am convinced now that I am a ‘new creation’ (as the Bible puts it). I am no longer in bondage to my sinful ways – I can say no.
But just because it is possible to say ‘no’ to sin, doesn’t mean we should just willingly waltz into situations wherein we know we can ‘fall’. In Matthew 26 we are told, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” In James 1, we are also told that we are tempted by ‘natural desires’.
We live in a world that glorifies sin. Temptation presses on us – from all sides. We should not, therefore, be surprised by it. At times, its harder to resist especially when my humanity weighs on me. But the Bible gives me hope, it tells me
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
There will always be a way out.
We need to realize that falling into temptation is not an ‘oops, I did it again’ sort of thing. Often, we make several unwise decisions before we are trapped into sin again. In that case, we must be aware of our weaknesses — of things, places, times and even PEOPLE that may lead us to sin.
So, I tell myself. “Agie, you know you shouldn’t be here – you know where this road leads.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 tells me:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Life for every Christian is a constant struggle – its why I decided to make this blog. Even if we are no longer who we were – we still have that sinful nature in us – THAT WANTS to sin. It is not, however, the end game – if and when we fall. If and when you fall into sin (just like I have in many occasion), the best thing really is to look to Jesus again — don’t be discouraged by your failings, rather – repent and return to God our Father.
1 Peter 5:10 reminds us
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
God is not finished with us yet…
“…Trust deep. Aim high. Work hard. Live Well. Die Laughing…”