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Posts Tagged ‘temptation’

HERE IS ONE I POSTED IN 2016…revamped a bit, of course.

 

While lecturing and book signing in San Antonio, I spent the night with my sister. When I blurry-eyed stepped into her shower, this is what greeted me.

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SIN AROMA. I had to laugh. It was 6:30 in the morning and I’d already found God today.

San Antonio is a bilingual city, so labels are in English and Spanish. “Sin Aroma” means “unscented”, but it got me to thinking. What is the aroma of sin? Isn’t it often undetectable?  Unlike natural gas, which is also undetectable, nothing is added to temptations to let us know danger lurks. No nasty, scrunch-up-our-nose odor to warn us to back away. Unless we have our holy prompter inside of us, the Holy Spirit. But even then, do we always obey His whispers?

Sin should leave us feeling dirty.  But too often, don’t we cover it up like an aromatherapy spray?  If you can’t smell it, it isn’t there anymore, right? Other times, it may be masked with an enticing whiff that pulls us in like walking by a bakery just when a batch of freshly baked bread is being pulled from the oven, even though you are on a low-carb diet. Yeah. Been there.

James wrote in his letter, “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (1:15) The father of lies’ temptations are often what we think we want, need, or even believe is God’s will for us. Whatever it is, he knows it is a lure for us. So we dash ahead without taking it to God in prayer first for verification and blessing. We don’t detect the smell that might otherwise cause us to back away.

Back to the soap I saw in the shower imagery…

The fact that sin can wash over our body and we still “feel clean” is evidence that we live in a fallen world. But when we become part of the Body of Christ and He lives in us, sin’s enticement is more detectable. The more we allow ourselves to be washed in His Blood, the more protected we will become.  As believers, we all need a “body wash” (jabon corporal) to slough off the sins that have begun to stick to us like sweat.  That is why going to church is so important. So we can be in “corporate” worship together.

Hey, I am not trying to revive the 1970’s adage, “Save water shower with a friend.”  (Just to be clear.) But the same way a friend can pull you aside and tell you that you have a smudge on your blouse, as members of the Body we can lovingly and quietly point out a spot on each other’s souls that need to be scrubbed a bit. But spot cleaning doesn’t always do the job.

As individuals, just as we cleanse our skin each day, let us also remember to wash our souls daily by spending time with our Lord.

Now everyone sing …“What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…”

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????????????????????????????????????????Raise your hands if you  gave up chocolate for Lent on Wednesday, then realized the next day, yesterday, was Valentine’s. Are your really going to tuck away that red heart shaped box filled with mouthwatering choices?  Can you withstand the temptation? Are you going to claim Sunday as a “king’s x” day and gobble down a few of them after church? Or will you chew now and confess later?

How easy is it to make resolutions and vow to make a change. How easy is it to be tempted at a drop of the hat to not keep that vow, or to find wiggle room in the rules to, well, have our chocolate in life and eat it, too. But what are we risking in return?

We all have good intentions when it comes to our Christian walk. We want to change, be more Christ-like, and bend to God’s will. Adam and Eve knew that push-me pull-you feeling. So did Paul.

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15)

Human nature. We can’t  do it on our own, can we? Paul goes on –

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (vs 18, 20)

But Christ shows us a higher road, a better way that He has not only paved, but traversed.  We only will  succeed when we let God’s will control our thoughts and actions.

…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

That’s a vow God makes to us, and He, though tempted while on earth, never gave in.

It’s not about what’s inside that heart shaped box of chocolates–it is about what’s inside the heart itself.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

 

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