(08.17.21– The Power To Be Good –James 4:7)
My friend, may I ask you a question? if we don't break the patterns of sin, there may come a time when we fail and the patterns overtake us. Is it time to break free?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Patterns; they're often one of those "good news/bad news" situations. The good news is that sometimes, when you have a pattern in hand, you are able to make something that turns out the same each time. My wife Holly loves to sew. She has hundreds of patterns she's collected over time; each designed to make a specific article of clothing. That's good! However, there are some patterns that aren't so good. For example, after I mow the lawn each week, I'm in the pattern of parking the tractor in the shed, closing the door and walking away until the next time I need to mow. That pattern might lead to the lawn getting mowed sometimes, but not always. You see, if I don't break that pattern from time to time by changing the engine's oil, there may come a time when it will fail and the lawn doesn't get mowed for a very long time.
Here's a thought from Dr. James Anderson: "Suppose there's a door you are commanded not to open. On the other side of the door is a talking dog that keeps insisting, "Come on, let me in. I'm a lot of fun. You deserve it. Who will know? You can get away with it." So you open the door and the dog roars in and bites you. Ironically, the dog instantly changes its story: "You opened the door. I have a right to be here. You'll never get away with this!" If this happened, would you beat on the dog or on yourself? Sin, allowed to reign, is like that dog. Not realizing there's a dog, you beat on yourself for leaving the door open and cry out to God for forgiveness. He forgives you, but the dog is still there. Why not cry out to God and beat on the dog instead of yourself? James 4:7 states, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." We're correct in confessing our sin, but we've failed to follow the complete biblical formula that breaks the cycle: sin-confess-resist, not sin-confess-sin again. We must first assume our responsibility for opening the door, then we must resist Satan and command him to leave if we're going to experience victory over sin. (Dr. James Anderson)
We live as though God and a sick humanity are the only realities in the spiritual realm. We must turn to our righteous Advocate (1 John 2:1) and resist our perverted adversary if we are to experience victory and freedom over temptation and sin. Some patterns are good and necessary; there are habits that are safe and needed. However, when it comes to sin, the habit of "sin-confess-sin-confess" is "good news/bad news." The good news is that God forgives when we confess; the bad news is that we will always feel trapped by sin if we don't add "resist" to the pattern. Like that garden tractor of mine, you need to "change the oil" if you want to be free from sin. Don't rely on confession alone, you may just end up recycling sin. Add resistance to your Christian life and rest assured you will be not just forgiven, but free.
We pray. Heavenly Father, help us to assume responsibility for resisting Satan and commanding him to leave our lives so that we will experience victory over sin. Turn us toward You and Your Word to experience victory over temptation and the bad patterns in our lives. Some patterns are good and necessary; safe and needed. However, when it comes to sin, the habit of “sin-confess-sin-confess” is not. Forgive us when we don’t seek freedom from the cycle of habitual sin in our lives. The good news is that You do forgive us when we confess; the bad news is that we will always feel trapped by sin if we don’t add “resistance” to the pattern of sin in our lives. To be free from sin we can’t rely on confession alone. We must add resistance to our lives so that we will be not just forgiven, but free. 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. 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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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.