Sunday, January 7, 2007

Stop the Madness

Sometimes we need to just stop what were doing and start over. Especially when it comes to areas of sin or temptation in our life. We need to realize when it's gone too far and do whatever it takes to stop the madness. Sometimes with sin we think that things will work out and over time it will get better. But it doesn't. Sin breeds more sin and the consequences just keep building up.

Have you ever been snow skiing? I remember years ago when my wife and I learned how to snow ski. The first thing we learned to do was to "snow plow." This is what you do to brake or slow down as your skiing down the slope. The second thing we learned to do was to "fall down" properly. The reason we learned this is because if you're going too fast and you can't seem to slow down then you have to know how to fall down without getting hurt and stop your forward progress down the slope. These two things are really all you need to know on day one, the rest comes with practice. I learned the hard way how important knowing how and when to fall down is to the skier. I discovered that if I'm skiing down the slope and I'm gaining momentum and going faster and faster, and I'm snow plowing but it's just not working and I'm still going faster and faster, there are thoughts that go through your head very quickly at the moment you realize your not going to stop. One is... "I'll gain control of this and be alright." The other is... "Fall down NOW!" "Stop now before it's too late!" From first hand experience I can tell you that if you are flying down a mountain and you realize it's time to stop, you better do whatever it takes to stop. "It only gets worse the longer you wait!" I remember thinking... "I'm going to fast, I have to fall down." But then I'd think, "Well I think I can get this under control." Then I'd think "OH NO, I'm really going too fast now, if I fall down now it's really going to hurt." So I go on... How stupid was that?... Now I'm really in trouble and I realize I'm no longer in control of my skiing at all, I'm heading straight down the mountain and heading for the moguls. Something inside of me says... "Fall down you idiot!" But I don't listen, I keep going. Finally I hit the first mogul and launch myself into orbit. When I finally return to earth... well lets just say it wasn't pretty.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day. When things are starting to get bad, they can go from bad to worse real quick if you don't do something to stop it right then when you realize it's going wrong. I had to learn the hard way that it's always best to STOP, and begin again when I see things are getting out of hand. The sad thing about this whole lesson was, I knew what to do! I could have avoided this disastrous wreak. But I chose to keep going (knowing better) and I paid the price.

We do this everyday with sin and temptation. We like to flirt with sin. We get so close that we find it more and more difficult to stop until eventually we can't stop and then we find ourselves heading towards disaster real quick. The best advise I can give when you find yourself lost in sin is found in the book of James.

James 4:7, Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.

Stop what your doing! Submit yourself to God. It's through His strength and His strength alone that you can resist the devil. The promise is that the devil will flee from you. In other words you'll no longer be tempted, he'll leave you alone.
You know Jesus faced temptation as well, but every time he was tempted by the devil, Jesus would say... "For it is written." and then Jesus would quote scripture explaining why he would not fall into temptation. We need to be like Jesus. We need to study God's word (the bible) so that when we are tempted by Satan, we too can boldly say... "For it is written." and then quote scripture to turn that devil around heading the other direction.

The key with sin is to recognize it! To recognize that were going to fast, or were not even going in the right direction. Something has to change quick or I'm going to get hurt. When we recognize were in trouble, this is when we should react. Submit to God, resist the sin and the devil will flee from you.

God Bless you.

No comments: