Posted by: pastortomvabeach | August 14, 2013

Thought For The Week August 18, 2013

I was blessed by the visit of Pastor Dyer on Sunday as, I trust, all of you were. Did you commit to be a part of his prayer team? If so, you are the most important link in bringing about the success of the calling God has given him. If you were unable to attend on Sunday, you’ll miss out if you don’t check out the message on ccagvb.com.

I had the joyous opportunity this week to spend one night out camping with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. We always loved camping with our kids when they were growing up and that love was passed down, at least, to Sean. He takes a vacation every summer to take the family on a week long campout. Since I already used up most of my vacation, I only went out in the afternoon before my day off and spent one night with them. Lilia and I always have fun being “Grammy” and “Papa”, even if the ground is hard at night!

This particular outing left me with some not so nice after effects. It seems that there is a new kind of biting fly (we never saw them in this area before this year) that is making its presence known around First Landing State Park. It resembles a small deer fly but is yellow and awful. It’s almost imperceptible when it lands and the bite, at first, feels like a minor itch but don’t let that fool you. This fly’s bite turns into a red, blistery, swollen, horribly itchy wound that takes days to subside. The itch is a lot like poison ivy, in that, it never stops itching. If you scratch it, it gets worse, and it is almost unbearable.

Well, I was thinking about this today and it occurred to me that my misfortune might be a pretty good analogy for sin. Some similarities I saw were: 1) You have to be watchful because it can sneak up on you. 2) At first the bite doesn’t hurt as much as it almost tickles so unless you see the fly you might just let it keep biting. 3) If you let it keep biting it begins to sting. 4) The after affects of this fly’s bite are much worse than the bite itself and exponentially larger than the fly.

Let’s compare. 1) Sin can sneak up on us, especially if we think we are not vulnerable. Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10:12). 2) Sin’s bite doesn’t always hurt, in fact, it can be pleasurable. With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter… (Proverbs 7:21-22). 3) The result of falling into the seduction of sin is like the fly bite, it begins to sting (see the rest of Proverbs 7). 4) The affects of sin go way beyond the pleasure of the moment. Your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. (Numbers 14:33). The children of those who refused to go into the promised land had to endure 40 years on the desert. These are just a few Scriptures that show the analogy.

The main thing that I wanted to point up about being bitten by these flies is that the only way to avoid all of the misery and after effects of the sting is to avoid being bitten in the first place. I discovered today, after Pastor Doug sent me a link about this nasty fly, that the most successful way to repel these critters is by spraying your skin with Listerine! I actually think that would be a better use of Listerine than as a mouthwash!

If I had known this simple trick, which is attested by many as extremely effective, I would have been armed with my spray bottle. I would much rather have smelled like Listerine for a while than to have to endure this itching, which is bothering me right now.

In the same way, the best, and only way, to avoid the sting and consequences of sin is to avoid it altogether. Now, I could have avoided the fly bites by not going to the park, kind of like we can avoid the allurements to sin by staying home with no TV, radio, reading material, and no other people with whom to interact. But that is not very practical. So just like I can keep flies away by covering myself with Listerine, we can keep sin away by covering ourselves with God’s Word and His Holy Spirit!

Psalm 119:11, tells us, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. When I saturate my heart with God’s Word, sin becomes much more noticeable and easier to repel. Then Paul says, Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16). This is our defensive mechanism, the Word and the Spirit. Trust me, no, trust God when He tells you, it’s better to avoid the sting of sin than it is to live through and endure the consequences.

Well, I’m sure that this itching will go away in a couple of days. In the meantime, I’ll try to let the discomfort remind me about the much greater discomfort of falling into the traps of the enemy. You can do the same without the fly bites!! Just a thought.

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