Today, the dear husband and I got to take a trip to the mountains. We weren’t alone-we were on a field trip for school (yep, I thought I had outgrown those too!). Anyway, we were in the front of the van enjoying the scenery as we rode along. The sun was shining and everything is blooming-it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be traveling. One of the things we admired was the wisteria growing…seemingly everywhere…up here! As we admired the gorgeous bunches of purple blossoms draped everywhere, I pointed out that, as pretty as they were, those flowery vines were actually destroying whatever they were growing on. Trees are choked to death, houses can be damaged…almost anything they grow on ends up losing its life to the flowers.
Hmmm…kinda like sin. Lets face it, sin is fun…for a time. At first, it can be new and exciting. The human side of us enjoys the pleasures of sin. But then, sin starts to take over. Maybe that one drink turns to one a day…or several a day. That flirtatious look at someone who is not yours ends up in an illicit affair. That curiosity at the keyboard ends up at a porn site, over and over and over. That one little lie ends up in a string of lies you can never untangle yourself from.
Yes, these all may seem extreme. But, that’s kinda my point. Even the most extreme sin is normally “thought out” in the heart first. Matthew 15:19 says,
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” NASB
So…what to do? Put on your armor!
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
God gives us what we need, when we need it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” NLT
Soooo….as beautiful as the wisteria is, unless you want it to destroy whatever it’s climbing on, you must destroy it first. Sin is the same. Unless you’re willing to hand your life over to satan to be destroyed by whatever method he chooses, you need to avoid sin and, when it manages to sneak its way in your life, rip it up by the roots! Trust me, God’s way is always the best way!
But…what if you’re already there? You’re up to your eyeballs in something you never meant to hand over control to? Repent. Confess. Tell Jesus and let Him help you with it. He’s the best gardener I know. And then…forgive yourself! Allow yourself to be “off the hook.” If God forgets your sin, who do you think you are to hold onto it? I promise, life is easier without the burden of what we were never meant to carry!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!