Somehow, when I was younger, sin didn't seem quite so frightening as I see it now. OK. Wait, let's see. I dimly recall in the far past, I was absolutely terrified of sin, cos of what the bible said. So when I saw in a map an area called the 'Desert of Sin', I thought that was the most evil place on earth or something. (Actually, I think it stands for the Desert of Sinai, if I'm not wrong)
So anyway, that was it. But after a while, sin didn't seem quite so scary. I mean, I did tell the occasional lie, and I did have some rather dark and nasty thoughts, but overall, it didn't seem so powerful. I felt that I could just walk away whenever I wanted to. And I sort of lost that fear of sin that I used to have. I mean, we have victory through Christ our Lord, but that doesn't mean we should stop being wary of what the devil can do.
And I guess it took a really hooking kind of sin that smashed me back into reality. For different people, certain sins are easier to let go than others. And unfortunately for me, I managed to discover some of the sins that I have trouble letting go of. This really brings to mind a verse:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Epehesians 6:12
Physical enemies are going to be the least of our worries as Christians. I mean, it's relatively easier to have to fight a physical opponent. Even though the schmuck may be bigger, stronger, faster etc. than you, at least you know how to hit him. With intangible enemies, it's a whole different ball game. And when the sin is hooked in you, it becomes a whole lot harder to struggle against it.
Sin totally embodies the Chinese 4-word chen2 yu3 "de2 cun4 jing4 chi3". Which essentially means that if you give it an inch, it'll take a yard. See 1 Peter 5:8. one show of weakness, and it'll hammer you good. There's no way you can escape from it if you keep on giving in to your desires. But to say no to them, now that is damned hard. And I should know. I've had to fight. And I must admit, more often than not, my "fight" gives the term "push back" a bad name. Yeah, my win-loss percentage would probably be worst than that of the Toronto Raptors this season.
How am I to extraciate myself out of this mess? Answer is as simple as it is cliched.
Oh yes, I know it's hard. But that's the only way out of the mire of sin and back onto the straight and narrow. And that means I'll need to put up one heck of a fight more if I wish to remain true to the faith. I don't want to have "the sinful mind" in Romans 8:7, since that would make us emenies with God, as discussed on Thursday cell.
See 1 Corinthians 10:13. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." That shows that there's always a way out somewhere. It's whether we want to take it or not. We are only prisoners of our own sins as long as we want to remain prisoners.
And finally, one of my favourtie comforting phrases: Matthew 28:20b. He's always with us.
Alright. Happy Chinese New Year everyone.