Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Thursday, July 11, 2013
A Christian friend of mine once told my wife and me, “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” This sage advice, originally from Will Rogers, made sense to us at the time even though we weren’t Christians yet. This wisdom applies to any person, but as a Christian it carries an even deeper meaning when related to sin. If you find yourself sinning, the first thing you need to do is stop. Don’t analyze, don’t justify, just stop. Then pray for forgiveness along with the wisdom and strength to repent.
Sin is a slippery slope, an all downhill slide into an abyss. When you are sinning, it is very difficult to stop yourself. The reason? Sin has inertia. Just as the laws of physics tell u a body in motion tends to stay in motion, spiritually a person who is sinning tends to continue the sinful behavior. When you are sinning, frequently you find yourself compelled toward further sin lest the ongoing be exposed. Unfortunately, continuation of sin only makes things worse. It has been said that “One sin follows another such that there is no passage through it”. In other words, once we take that step into sin, we have given Satan the advantage of being able to tempt us into another, and typically greater, sin that will fulfill his agenda for us (John 10:10).
The Bible provides examples of this downward slide. Frequently, men failed to stop digging and went on to commit multiple sins. David did not stop at the sin of lust when he saw Bathsheba bathing. He acted on his sin and furthered it with adultery. In an attempt to cover it up, he brought Uriah to temptation. When Uriah took the high road morally, David slid further into the pit of sin and had Uriah killed in battle. Not only was David guilty of murder, he also forced Joab to sin as an accomplice. When David and Bathsheba’s child was born, David tried to find a passage through God’s wrath by fasting and praying, but there was none.
Herod found when he beheaded James it greatly pleased the Jews. Figuring nothing succeeds like success, he imprisoned Peter with the intent to kill him as well. Only a divine miracle saved Peter, but Herod was still digging, part of a family tradition. His father Herod had killed John the Baptist after drinking and lusting and then making a foolish promise for which he could find no way through and still save his honor (Matthew 14:6-10).
Satan has made a study of your life. That’s part of his job. He studies you and tempts you through trial and error until he knows your every weakness. Then he hits you in the area you are weakest, choosing to strike at your most vulnerable time to maximize his chances of success. He tempts you in the areas in which you struggle. He waits patiently until you are off-guard, perhaps even prideful about having conquered this particular stronghold of sin, and then makes a surprise attack. He knows how hard it is to “stop digging” once he’s placed a shovel in your hand.
God also knows the difficulty in climbing out of the hole you’ve dug by sinning. He knows that once we’ve dug into the black dirt of sin, there’s no way we, on our own, can put the dirt back into the hole. Once we “touch the dirt”, we are stained. God knows we cannot even stop digging in our own strength, we need strength from above. That’s one reason God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus can help us break the cycle of sin if we repent and call on Him. It’s also a good reason to remain in prayer with Him, asking for His strength to overcome our temptations.
Digging in the dirt of sin isn’t normal, but forgiving us our sins is normal for God. It is only through God and His Son that we can receive the strength to stop digging ourselves into deeper and deeper sin. It is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we can have the stains of sin removed. Go to Him in prayer today and let Him know you are ready to stop digging.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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