My friend, may I ask you a question? Where do you begin in your effort to lead a holy life? Does your effort begin with your mind or with your body? It makes a difference when sin takes you to the brink of no-return.
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I’m Mark Brunner.
Why do we sin? While impulses and learned behavior can often lead to sin, how important a role does our thinking occupy? There was a comedian years ago, Flip Wilson, whose famous line was: “The devil made me do it.” People laughed at this seemingly innocent appraisal of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, as humorous as it sounded, the disclaimer has always been a lame one with God. While God is very much aware of our inability to lead sinless lives, he’s also very insistent on us leading no-excuse lives as well. Leading a sanctified life, holy and obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ, begins with our ability to modify our minds, putting them into a state of awareness that certain behaviors lead to sin. For example, I am in the habit of coasting through a country Stop sign every now and then. This becomes a habit unless I discipline my mind to the consequences of being caught and fined. Ignoring that, over time it becomes a frozen habit, attaching itself to every Stop sign I encounter.
Frozen habits, like cruising through Stop signs, are some of the worst to break. We like to think that we can take these to the brink and still be safe. That becomes risky, every destructive at times.
Here’s a story: A man was watching a gull feeding on a fish carcass above a powerful waterfall. It was winter and the water was icy. As the carcass and bird approached the abyss it seemed to delay and he wondered when it would fly. When it finally came to the brink, out went its wings. It flapped and flapped, even lifting the icy carcass out of the water, as if to escape. But it had delayed too long and its claws froze to the carcass. Its scavenging habit overriding the need to survive, it plunged to its death. (Source unknown)
Taking control of our bodies and putting a stop to sinful habits makes sense; it makes us better workers, spouses, parents, children and citizens. But, what about our minds? That gull was so distracted by scavenging, it led to its own destruction. It became frozen in sin by a mindset overriding the danger. The Apostle Paul tells us “to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Taking control of our bodies is one thing, but our minds? Is that even possible? How can we control what we think? Yet, thinking needs to be disciplined just like our bodies. Thinking bad, lustful, envious, and evil thoughts ISN’T inevitable if we’re motivated by the realization that our minds as well as our bodies are the captive possession of Jesus Christ. The devil doesn’t make anyone do anything. A lack of discipline quite often leading to a frozen habit; may open the door; and he walks right in.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus who grants us total forgiveness from our sin. Help us to lead holy lives in recognition of his forgiveness. May we never forget that it’s our responsibility to combat sin and that effort begins in our mind not just our bodies. Forgive us Lord when we allow our thoughts free reign and risk being frozen in our sin. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at thispassingday.com. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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