It’s so easy to go with the flow. Who wants to be the salmon swimming up stream? Yet, I think that is what we are called to do. We need not be guided by what society says is right or wrong but guided by what God says is. We live in a society that encourages us to do whatever comes naturally, or makes us feel good, but is this really for our benefit or detriment?
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
This is an intense verse. Our heart is deceitful… No, not me, this verse is for the guy next to me. Yes, it’s me, and it’s you! It’s not just for the murderer or intense sins like that. If you find it hard to follow after God’s laws, you are not alone my friend; it is hard. Naturally we are magnetized to sinful things. But don’t give up. Pray for God’s strength to be your help and your guide. Ask Jesus into your heart and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. This may seem hocus pocus to some or too fluffy, but it’s just taking the active direction of willfully submitting your heart to God. In ourselves, our only moral compass is what people present to us, but when you invite the Holy Spirit to fill you, He grants you an internal compass, that can only be explained when you experience it.
Consequence of Sin
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Now, we may not struggle with all these things, but, with the ones we do, we must seek God’s face to help us overcome them. This isn’t a miraculous antidote that you are never going to mess up or that you took the remedy to become perfect. It is a desire to not settle for sin in your life, to understand that the scary consequence to this unrepentant sin is “not inheriting the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21) Yikes! Nothing is worth that to me.
There is Hope
In ourselves, we cannot keep all the laws and commands that we are held to. Our battle versus our flesh is too great, that’s why we need to ask Jesus into our heart, to not only be our guide but also forgive us when we do sin. When Christ died on the cross He became the propitiation for our sins. He paid the price so we don’t have to. Yet we have to acknowledge this free gift, and take God at His word. This gift is not a ticket to do whatever we want, on the contrary, we realize sin just bogs us down, buts its an acknowledgement that in our own strength we can not get to Heaven.
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.
Some sins in our life seem like an ongoing battle, certain crutches in our life that we just can’t shake. I know I have a few that it seems like flood my prayer journal, and I get so frustrated that I have not been able to overcome them. But the key is that we keep on fighting. Fighting for something better. Fighting for victory.
A righteous man falls seven times then rises.
The consequences of following the natural desires of our heart are clear, so we can’t just concede to “follow our heart.” We have to make clear choices based on the truth of the Word of God and trust Him to light our path. Don’t get overwhelmed by your imperfections and think I am too far gone; it is too hard for me. Just take it moment by moment, day by day. Pray for God’s mercy and strength because He is the only One you are going to be held accountable too.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Photo Credit: by Skitterphoto