Daily Devotional for Saturday August 12, 2006

How Do you Wake Up in Bed with Someone Who is not Your Spouse

(Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalms 51:10; Romans 12:2)

Or, how do you find yourself with a straw in your nose snorting lines of coke? Or, how do you start talking to someone and end up telling horrible stories about someone else? Or, how do you walk into a store and leave with an item you didn't pay for? Or, how do you tell your parents you are going one place and actually go to the exact place they told you not to go? How does a person come to that place where they are actually COMMITTING sin?

I can assure you that you didn't wake up and just "end up" in bed with someone who isn't your spouse. I love the great line people use, "I didn't mean this to happen," or, "it just happened." No, actually you DID mean it to happen and NOTHING "just happens." Sin is the ultimate act of selfishness since by its very definition, sin is rebellion against God. Even though satan, the great justifier, will give you lots of reasons you sinned to help you ease the guilt, the fact is sin is literally you saying to God, "not thy will but MY WILL be done!"

It would be nice if we sinned in a vacuum and we were the only ones we hurt, but that isn't the case. As we just learned we hurt God when we sin. You should know by now that when you sin you hurt yourself. Sin costs, and it costs you much more than you ever expected to pay. Sadly however, in addition to hurting God and yourself, your sin hurts others. Let's just look at the sin of adultery or fornication for example. In addition to hurting God and yourself, you hurt the person you sinned with, you hurt your family, you hurt the family of the other person, not to mention people in both of your lives that may be affected by your sin. This notion that you only hurt yourself when you sin is just another one of satan's lies!

Please be honest enough to admit that when you sin, it was because you WANTED TO! The reality is, you had more than enough opportunities to NOT sin if you really didn't want to. Sin starts in our heart. Jeremiah the prophet proclaimed, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" It was our Lord and Savior Jesus who said in Mark 7, "That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." That is why David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God" in the 51st Psalm. The Bible talks much about having a "new heart," a "clean heart."

From the heart, sin then travels to our mind. It is in our mind where we "think" about our sin, whether consciously or not. This notion of running out and sinning is sheer folly. If you think back on your sins, you will clearly remember those times of actually thinking about or dwelling on your sin. The deeper we get into sin, the more time we spend thinking about it. Initially, our thoughts are about the consequences of sinning, about whether we should actually go through with it or not. After we physically commit the sin a few times, our thoughts are more about the sin itself than stopping. Again, this is why the Bible talks to us extensively about the "renewing of our mind."

This takes us back to the questions I asked you in the very first paragraph. Once sin is born in our heart, travels to our mind and is not stopped, the physical act is inevitable. If you let sin into your heart, if you let it fester in your mind, the chances of you having the "will power" to not commit the physical act of sinning is very unlikely. The reality is and what you need to understand, is that you have already sinned even before the physical act occurs. What happened in your heart and mind is already sin. That is why Jesus said if you lust in your heart after another woman you have already committed the act of adultery. All the physical act is, is the culmination of the sin you already committed.

I love you and care about you so much. Now the good news! YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIN! Let me say this loud enough for the hard of hearing and even satan to hear, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIN!!! God CAN give you a new heart. God WILL help you to renew your mind. God DOES give you many opportunities to escape sin and say no along the way. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIN! Don't let the enemy lie to you that you are too weak, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIN! The fact is, God will give you everything you need to live your life in obedience to Him. Say it with me, I DON'T HAVE TO SIN!!!

This is why I share with you often how important your daily relationship with the Lord through prayer and the Word is. The closer you are to the Lord, the further you are from sin. That is why it is so important to "die to self" each day. Again, when it is Christ living and not us, sin has no part of our life. Also, never forget the great promise God gives us in 1 Corinthians 10, "But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I can guarantee you without any hesitation that if you think back on the sins you have committed in your life, you can point to at least one, maybe dozens of "escape routes" God provided that you ignored.

I will be praying for you today. Praying that you realize you don't have to sin. However, if you want victory over sin in your life, there are things YOU must do. A football team can't show up an hour before the first game and expect to win. They have to put in hours and hours of hard work and practice before the game to have any chance at victory. The same is true if you want victory over sin, you have to work at it. If you will spend time each day with the Lord in prayer, if you will spend time each day renewing your mind through His Word, if you will make that commitment to die to self each day so that it is Christ in control of your life, if when confronted with sin you will take the escape routes God gives you, you can live your life in obedience to God. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIN!