No Petting Allowed

Genesis 4: 7 (The Amplified)
…sin crouches at your door; its’ desire is for you, but you must master it.

Quite a few years ago I bravely went on a trip with the youth at the church I attended at the time.  One of the speakers on this trip used this verse in his message and to this day the gist of what he said stays with me.  I found the Amplified version of this scripture because I specifically remember him talking about how sin “crouches” at the door, waiting for you.  Those words echo in my heart today because let’s just say sin “had” me this past weekend.  And since my heart for this blog is to be real…..well, here we go…

As I live life with a desire to know God in an outside-the-box kind of way, as I truly want to know Jesus and live for Him in a way that is life-changing I find myself more acutely aware that time with Him is my medicine.  Over a period of time my desperation for stability in life led me to read my Bible consistently.  It has led me to just stop praying and be quiet if I find myself just reciting the same thing I said the day before.  This hunger for peace has led me to do things for people I did not want to do…it has led me to put aside what was fair or what I thought I needed…over and over it leads to getting my focus off of myself.  HOWEVER…what about the times I give myself permission to “pet” the harmless little guy “crouching” in the shadows waiting to have me? 

See, I look at myself and can see how there are times when I think of sin as this annoying little stray dog and I just need to keep shooing him away. Really he’s harmless, right?  What is the big deal about a little gossip, impatience and yelling at my kids or major attitude with my husband?  It’s normal! 

Here is my heart/thought today (after a long weekend and asking for forgiveness): sin is not an annoying, but mostly harmless, stray dog.  Sin is an ugly beast.  Sin is crouching, waiting for you to give it an entrance into your thoughts, words, attitudes and behaviors.  Not so you’ll have a bad day or feel guilty…no, sin waits to destroy marriages, friendships, family and work relationships.  Most of all sin wants to destroy your fellowship with God.  Sin wants to tie your hands and feet together.  Sin wants to tape your mouth shut and cover your eyes with a blindfold.  Sin wants you prisoner.  I believe I have lived most of my life being a “good” person who really did love God and know Jesus but at the end of  the day my emotions and my needs ruled my heart.  There was always this vague awareness that as I “petted” a little sin here and there I was in the grip of something I couldn’t control. 

The irony is that the more I spend time with Jesus the more I must spend time with Jesus!  I do not have to remain captive to sin in any form. The whistle of the whip and the ring of hammer against nail are the sounds that echo through eternity.  The sounds of freedom in Jesus.  Maybe I have been okay with petting a little sin and remaining somewhat comfortable in my fellowship with Jesus at times…but as I regroup from a weekend of “blowing my top” it is so evident that the peace and power I experience through Jesus when I spend time with Him is beyond compare to the momentary release of giving in to the beast. 

I am not afraid of the crouching beast.  I know what to do!  I learn over and over the power for living a life of Crazy Love is not through my best efforts…it’s all through Him.  Me asking.  Him answering.  I know that if I listen He will speak to my heart and enable me to keep the peace He purchased for me at Calvary.  And I know that in those times I let sin master me Jesus is my advocate…He readily forgives and cleanses me.  He helps me make things right.  He holds my hands and gently reminds me not to pet the beast.

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