Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just One Thought

Sin begins with one thought.  Yes,  just one thought.  We Christians recognize that something is not right the second we are faced with it.  As soon as we are faced with a situation,  the Holy Spirit living inside of us alerts us to the fact that it is wrong and we should not do it.  However,  there is this moment,  the split second when you wonder,  what would it be like if I did it? The seed has been planted. 
You see,  for the true Christian,  the devil can't just say to us "do it"  because we have the Holy Spirit guiding us and saying "don't do it".  Instead,  he has to make us feel comfortable with doing the thing that we shouldn't.  So,  in the back of our minds,  the thought comes.  Of course,  at first,  you dismiss it because you know better. But the thought comes again,  and again and again until you don't realize that you are spending the entire day thinking about this thing that you know that you should not do. 

Let's use a big example, something that we all frown upon (the "big" sin).  Over the years I've always wondered how a genuine Christian man or woman finds himself/herself entwined in adultery.  I realized  that it starts with one moment when somebody other than your spouse looks a little nicer than normal one day.  You pay them a compliment and the two of you smile and leave it at that.  The devil notices the opportunity and plants the thought.  You dismiss it immediately.  The next day,  you see the person and you smile at them from across the room,  noticing how attractive they are.  Before you know it,  your mind is stewing over that attractiveness, over and over.  If you don't recognize what is happening and nip the thought at the source you have already started sliding towards the point of no return.  Slowly,  you're becoming desensitized to the fact that what you are thinking is wrong. Justification statements like "they're just my friend" slowly start to follow the thoughts that you know that you should be rebuking.  Slowly,  more thoughts, slowly,  more justification until one day,  you're not quite so comfortable but having lunch with this person that you're thinking about all the time doesn't seem like such a bad thing and of course it only goes downhill from there. 

Not all of us will find ourselves faced with a situation where we may cheat on our spouses,  however we all will be faced with situations where sin is justified in our heads long before we actually do it.  No genuine Christian actually wants to sin.  Every genuine Christian wants to live a holy life that is pleasing and acceptable to God.  However,  our enemy wants anything but that.  We are to be wise concerning his devices,  plots and plans and be ready to deal with them as they come. 

Just about every sin begins with a single errant thought.  Let's learn to recognize them and stop them at the source.  Let's learn to take control of our minds and our thought life and make it subject to the will of God and not that of the enemy. 

Have a blessed and thought controlled day. 

Devotions like this one and others can be found in the Soul Food Series in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab a copy, click one of the images below. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Get Up!

It can be pretty difficult to move on passed heartache of any kind.  Emotional scars tend to run deep and each new one seems to reach further into the soul,  making recovery harder and harder and harder. But recovery isn't impossible.  

One thing I've learned though is that recovery will only happen if you want it to.  Depression has a way of getting worse the longer you stay in it. The more you cry, the more you sit around doing nothing and the more you stay away from the world, the worse it gets. It just hurts more to sit there and think about why you're hurting. 

People always say "get up,  shake yourself off" to others in such situations and of course it's very annoying to the person who is hurting but I've learned that as cliché as that is,  it's the only way to start the healing process. 
Of course,  there's more to healing than just forgetting your problems.  As a matter of fact, you'll run into bigger issues if you just bury stuff away,  but you can't dwell on them forever. You will only recover if you want to recover. YOU should be your own motivation.  You must want your life to improve for it to happen. You must want to move on for it to happen. You must want change for it to happen. 

My encouragement today for all us is to be your own motivation.  Be determined to rise above,  to move forward,  to grow and to change. 

Devotions like this one and others can be found in the Soul Food Series in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab a copy, click one of the images below.