Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: HOW TO BREAK THE DEVIL'S TOOLS
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Would you like to be used by the devil? If someone walked up and asked you that, I bet your mouth would fly open and you would assert, in no uncertain terms, that you definitely would NOT! Yet, I think we sometimes walk around inviting that very thing.
Have ever heard that we must see sin as God sees it, as sin? That should be enough for us Christians, but I think it rarely is when the sin is one of our own. In our minds, it seems that some of God’s instructions are really just arbitrary pieces of advice He chose to give us, or something some naive preacher, who has lived a shelter life, has deemed as evil when they are really is ‘no big deal’.
For me, such was the case of alcohol. I grew up in an environment where alcohol use was the norm, and the people who used it were precious people I loved. Because they were basically good people, I reasoned that is wasn’t couldn’t really be that bad, so I used it too, and even though the most grievous sins in my life were connected to alcohol use, I still didn’t see the alcohol use as a sin. I could actually condemn myself but not the alcohol. It’s amazing how the devil works, isn’t it? A self-condemned Christian is usually an unusable vessel.
Now I know that some of you have never had a drop of alcohol and are aghast at the idea of ever doing so, but have you ever noticed how a sin that once seemed hideous, can suddenly seem justifiable when someone we love becomes entangled in it? We may tell ourselves that the person isn’t hurting anyone, and since he or she is such a good person, maybe it isn’t so bad, and maybe God will understand that they have circumstances in their lives that cause them to do it. We make excuses for them, or perhaps for ourselves.
Just recently, I had the occasion to be at a party of people I love, and to see the sins of alcohol. The language at the party deteriorated rapidly until God’s name was blatantly and repeatedly used in vain. Horrible remarks against certain people were suddenly prevalent from someone who would normally not talk that way. It grew worse with each swallow taken, until the air reeked of evil. I could feel the very presence of the devil and almost see his sneering grin as evil words flowed as freely as the alcohol.
It was then, for the first time in my life, that I truly saw it a God sees it. A tool, that the devil is all to willing to use to degrade not only the person doing it, but to have God’s HOLY name misused. How happy the devil must have been to watch with glee as good people, spoke his words for him.
Are you as I was, justifying a sin because “it really isn’t that bad”, while your witness to the world is broken and dying, and your access to the Holy Spirit’s leadership is quenched by your sin? Like me, have you unintentionally assumed you were so much smarter than God that you smooth over sin in someone you care about life, and then don’t understand why God is allowing such dryness in your life and such depravity in our society?
See sin as God sees it? Indeed! Whether we understand or agree, if God calls it sin, there is a reason; and we, as Christians must call it thus also. God neither does nor says anything arbitrarily. He knows the tools of the devil and His laws are to protect His children. Whether it is alcohol, gossip, painkillers, white lies, misused sex, or anything else God has condemned; if God calls it sin, there is no defense for it, it is sin and we must take a stand and hate the sin, not the sinner, as God does if we are be a light in this fallen world.
Oh Lord, help me not to be wise in my own eyes, but to believe you about all things. Help me to believe and live by your laws as readily as I believe and accept your precious promises, and in belief and obedience, may I become someone who makes a difference for you in your world. Amen
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