Many will read this title and attach it to an unlimited array of personal issues and the problems that are associated with them.
I remember a few years ago while talking with a friend about temptation and the constant struggles within the Christian life, he shared about how often he wilts under the power of negative influences and, like most of us, he usually ends up being disappointed with his choices.
After going back and forth confessing our weaknesses and failures, out of frustration he asked me a pointed question: “Why do we continue avoiding our responsibility to do what is right?” Hmmm ... I tried to find an intelligent response or some spiritual way to justify our disobedience, but all I could come up with is the sobering fact that we just do not want to. Attached to this embarrassing explanation is that we will never change this rebellious cycle of defeat until we allow Christ to renew our mind and help us develop self-discipline. It’s true, we can live as close to God as we desire.
We realize this is a strong statement and one that we would rather not think about, but the Bible also never promised the Christian life would be easy. George Orwell is quoted as saying, “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it” nonetheless, I would rather be known as someone who confronts our problems than ignores them.
I remember watching Flip Wilson back in the early ‘70s, and one of his more popular comedy routines was called “the devil made me do it.” Everyone laughed and thought it was funny and many could relate to the clever idea of accusing the dark side for our bad decisions. We understand how easy it is to blame someone else for our mistakes, but as most of us know, this is just hiding behind more excuses. Anytime we intentionally deny the truth, we are heading down a dangerous road and will eventually pay a great price, whether it be in this life or the next.
The reality is that the devil can attack us within the parameters of God’s approval, but he mostly plays the role of a tempter and persuader. Our own carnality is also a strong influence and might suggest a second piece of chocolate pie, but no one is making us eat it. Most of us love the idea of going to Heaven but are not really interested in all the details of taking a holy vow and coming into covenant with God.
There is a throne in everyone’s heart, and if God is not sitting on it someone else is. Romans Chapter 6 reminds us that we are “Servants to whom we obey,” and since our actions reveal our intentions, it would be good to examine our hearts and make sure that Jesus is occupying our throne. You see, where we spend our time and what we think about, reveals our allegiance to our true master. The core of the gospel is that Jesus came to rescue us, but He did not save us so that we can do whatever we want. He saved us so that we could do what He wants.