“She took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate,” Genesis 3:6.
If we listen to the devil, and give serious consideration to what he says, we will almost surely fall into his trap and sin. Those who fall into sin almost never do so because of a single, instantaneous temptation. It is usually a subtle, slow process of looking at something, dwelling on it, rationalizing it, and then when our defenses have been stripped away, the trap is sprung.
After the sin, the consequences began to immediately show in Adam and Eve’s relationship to each other. Even though they had sinned together, there was an immediate barrier between them that had not been there before. Shame entered their relationship, and shame always brings division. The freedom and openness that they had known with each other were gone forever. Sin destroys relationships and turns life into death. It will almost always be appealing to our senses, and maybe even our intellect, but its fruit will always be bitter.
The Scriptures are very clear about sin. Murder, adultery, and stealing are some of the obvious ones. We are also told in the New Testament that even to be angry with a brother is sin (see Matthew 5:22). We are also told in James 4:17, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” There are sins of commission, which are evil things we do, and sins of omission, which is not doing good when it is in our power to do it.
Basically, sin is disobedience to God. Sin is always the result of selfishness in some form, and it will always result in further self-centeredness that separates us from God and one another. Regardless of how appealing it looks, sin destroys.
“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God,” Romans 6:11-13.
We flee from sin by pursuing righteousness. We flee from hatred by pursuing love. We flee from fears by pursuing faith. We flee from impatience by seeking to be more patient. As Romans 12:21 states, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” We must always seek to displace the evil in our hearts with good.
Righteousness is a gift and a treasure. True righteousness is never “self-righteousness” because true righteousness is not in us, but in Christ. We are only righteous to the degree that we abide in Him. Our pursuit must be to abide in Him in all things. God is love, so if we abide in Him, we will love. He does not fear anything, so if we abide in Him, we will be free from fear, etc. Our goal is not to just grow in love, but walk in more of God’s love. We do not want to have less fear, but rather have the faith that comes from seeing from the Lord’s perspective, which is at the right hand of the Father. When we see who Jesus is, and where He sits, we will have faith.
We should replace the negative things in our lives with the positive aspects of Christ. If television is a problem for us, rather than just determining not to watch television, we should pursue something positive with our time to replace watching television. We might start with a 30-day television fast, but have something positive to do during the time that we normally watch television, such as attending a Bible study, ministering to others, reading, etc. If we just do away with the sin, it leaves a hole that the enemy will easily return to if the void is not filled. We must overcome sin by replacing it with the Lord’s will.
If we will actively pursue the Lord, we will be far less likely to fall into the traps that the enemy has set to cause us to stumble. We must have a vision of growing in the grace, fruit, and power of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 14:1 exhorts us to, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
Love must be pursued. Those who just desire spiritual gifts seldom receive them, but those who “earnestly desire” them will. We must desire the things of God enough to seek them earnestly. The Lord promised in Jeremiah 29:13: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive diretor of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|