Reflections

Devotional

Word of the Day: Sin


Definition: An offense against religious or moral law; a serious short-coming; a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God (Merriam-Webster, 2015).


While researching the definition of sin, I became intrigued by two words that were a part of the explanation: vitiated and estranged. Vitiate, according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary means to ruin or spoil the usage of; to make something less effective. Estranged means to no longer be close or affectionate to someone; to disconnect; to remove from customary environment or associations. It’s amazing how much damage this three-letter word, sin, can cause. Perpetration of sin ultimately separates us from our union with God. While it may feel good in the moment, that pleasure is temporary and comes with consequences. Some of us have even become prisoners to it in cases where it no longer satisfies us, but the flesh strongly desires it. Everyone has their own battle with sin and unfortunately, it has succeeded at snuffing out the lives of many. 


But it is possible to overcome it. Jesus was the best example. He is the only one qualified  to defeat sin. Our responsibility is to confess our sins and do our very best to abstain from them. 1st John 1:8-10 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” This is not an appeal requesting us not to ever sin. Clearly, it was written before our time that we would sin. However, it is our duty to balance things in our lives. 


It is so easy to fall into sin. There is unlimited access to it. We must become alert and aware of these opportunities and take our “way of escape.” 1st Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. These moments are what I like to call “moments of growth.” Personally, I identify them as tests, but I do not always realize they are tests until I have failed one. My own way of escape can be clearly set in front of me and yet I have been guilty of diving, or even plunging into sin. Mostly because at that moment, the decision I made seemed like the right thing to do. Operating in this fashion is wrong for many reasons, but ultimately, it is the dangerous disposition that we know what is best for us better than God does. 


As children of God, we cannot just live the way we want. Habitually sinning and having no regard for Whom we represent first shows a lack of discipline and respect for God.  “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1st John 3:4). How then can we be used by Him if we won’t acknowledge Him? We must be mindful of sin when it presents itself to us and be more apt to taking our “way of escape.” We must inquire with Him about the battles we have with certain sins. Do not shut Him out; ask your Father to help you with it. Be completely open and honest with Him, because He knows anyway. This is where the fellowship with the Body of Christ is there to lift you up when you are down. Embrace fasting and the power of suffering the flesh. Sin is strong but with the Holy Spirit, you have the power to bring it under subjection. Delve into the Word of God. He will lead and guide you. 


Action: Identify something that you are truly struggling to overcome. Ask God to deliver you from it. Be more aware and take note of opportunities to walk away from it. Kill the flesh by fasting, praying and studying scriptures.


Prayer: Lord, thank You for bringing up the importance of the acknowledgement of sin in my life. I ask that You forgive me for the sins I commit that I know about and that I do not know about. Purge me, oh God. Cleanse me inside and out. I include you in the process of fleeing from sin and continuous purging. Please strengthen me in the weak areas of my life. Help me to be more apt to my opportunities of growth and ways of escape. I bind every fleshly desire and cast it out in Jesus’ name. I ask for Your guidance and direction on with whom to have healthy and godly relationships; connect me to people who have overcome similar battles and strong-willed believers that can be trusted to pray with and for me. I confess my sins and the struggles that I deal with. Thank You for Your unconditional love and for sending Your son, Jesus, to save our souls. Amen. 


Affirmation: I have self-control. I am not a slave to sin. When I fall, I will repent and turn away from it.