Later this week I’ll be speaking at CCEF’s Annual Conference about addiction (more to come on that tomorrow) and so lately I’ve been thinking about sin and addiction.
It is common for Christian folk stuck in repetitive sin to move away from God. Why? There are a variety of reasons but often they include overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and a desire to fix the problem through some sort of penance. But when individuals suffer from being sinned against, they are much more likely to go to God and talk to him about it.
With that in mind, I went to church yesterday and heard a sermon by our pastor on Judges 4-5 (The Deborah/Barak/Sisera story). And Pastor Traylor made this point,
Israel brought their oppression on themselves by their own idolatry. Yes, the king of Caanan was the oppressor but the cause was their own foolishness and evil inclination. What do they do? It seems that after 20 years of oppression, they cry to the Lord and he provides, yet again, a rescuer. This pattern is evident throughout Scripture but nowhere clearer than in the book of Judges. Sinners return to God, cry out for mercy and rescue, and God hears and delivers.
What if we were to cry out for deliverance much quicker? When we are righteously suffering it seems easy to do. But when we know we have fallen away, we find it much harder.
Do you suffer from the consequences of repetitive sin? Turn to God the second after to seek his deliverance. Continue that pattern (in an honest fashion) and you will discover that God provides the way of escape BEFORE you give in to that temptation.
We need to beat it into our heads that God wants us to turn to him even when we sin. The illustrations are numerous that we are loved by a pursuing God. Unfortunately, we also see that we are very committed to covering up our brokenness. Let us remember it is a losing battle. We will not be able to cover up for ever…
May God have mercy and deliver us from evil.