By: Tim Tallis
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Sin. We all do it (more than we care to share), and often times we are completely unaware of our sinful nature and actions. No matter what we do, no matter how hard we try- we will never be able to fully escape sin and its powerful grasp on our lives. We were born with sin and we will die with sin- and that is ok, thanks to the gift of Jesus and God’s ultimate sacrifice for us.
We aren’t the Messiah, but on the flip side- we shouldn’t sit ideally by and let our sinful natures dictate what kind of lives we are going to live. Yes, you have probably heard this 100s of times in your life. The message isn’t different, nor is the end goal. We all want to walk closer to Christ, but sometimes it feels incredibly difficult. Every once in a while- when our hearts and minds are completely with Christ, we are able to conquer sin through Jesus. It is one of the best feelings in the world- when we are able to put a sin to bed, we feel tremendously closer to God, and everything is . . . well . . . right.
Here is what I have come to notice- it is incredibly easy to get lost in that feeling. Yes, it is crucial that we focus on the sins we are most likely to fall to, but have you ever focused on what to do once you have beaten sin?
Matthew 12:43-45 is centered on impure spirits, but I think it gives us insight into the very nature of sin as well:
43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
You see sin, like an impure spirit, is a tangible thing. While you may not always be able to see it, we can always feel it resting heavy on our hearts and minds. These sins- whether it be pride, greed, lust, anger- anything that puts a barrier in-between us and God, have very real impacts on our lives both now and in the days to come. Through the power and grace of God we have the ability to defeat sin, and doing so lifts an incredible burden from our shoulders. But here is the thing-sin is willing to concede the battle to win the war, and if we don’t tactfully fill the voids that departed sin leaves inside of us, we will surely fall victim to sin again.
When you defeat sin, fill the void left with Jesus.
When you defeat anger, fill the void with love for God and for your neighbor.
When you defeat pride, fill the void with a dependence on God’s will.
When you feel that your heart and mind are focused on God and his will, pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the voids and to drive you forward.
When you feel the weight of sin creeping back into your life and can’t stand to fight anymore, yoke yourself to Christ. For his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11: 30), and He will pull you through.
Sin always tries to come back home. The real question is ‘will there be any vacancies in your heart, mind, or soul to let it back in?’