I went out shopping the other day. I had to stock up on some essential items. What an adventure shopping has become! Before you go out you have to gear up. When my wife and I got in the car we went through the checklist. Masks – check. Hand sanitizer – check. Patience – check. Good attitude – check??? (Even without a global virus I don’t have a great attitude about shopping.)
When we went to the store we put on our masks, put sanitizer in our pockets and set forth. You may have noticed that when you get in the store it is a whole new experience. There are arrows that direct which isles you can go down. There are lines on the floor to tell you where to stand. There are signs that remind you to stay 6 feet away. There are announcements over the speakers that remind you to keep your distance. There are plastic shields up to protect you from the cashier. There are so many precautions put in place. All of it is to protect us from a virus. Everything screams at us – WARNING – WARNING – WARNING!!
In the Bible we find warning after warning about an even greater danger. It is a greater danger because it will kill not just the body but also the soul. But so few heed the warning and as a result many are dying.
Listen to the warnings.
“For the wages of sin is death . . .” Romans 6:23
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness.” Romans 6:16
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:15
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
“And the Lord commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
“Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death . . .” Romans 7:13
“Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24
Over and over in the Bible we are warned. God doesn’t want you to miss it. Sin is deadly and it spreads quickly. It started with Adam and spread to the whole human race. If you continue in sin you will die. That death is not just a physical death but it is an eternal death. It is eternal separation from God.
The good new is that there is a cure. It is Jesus. The deadly consequences of our sin were paid for on the cross. Because of His death on the cross the death we are owed has already been paid. We no longer face death for our sin if we trust in the sacrifice of Christ. The crazy thing is, even after we have been freed from death we go back to the sin that was killing us. Why? We have warning after warning to stay away and not get caught up again in what was killing us. What can we do to take sin more seriously?
HERE ARE A FEW PRACTICAL WAYS WE CAN FIGHT THE DISEASE OF SIN.
Guard What Comes In.
To protect yourself from Covid-19 you put on a mask to keep germs from getting inside of your body. Whenever you put on your mask, remember to guard your mind. What you are looking at and what you are listening to can cause you to compromise.
When Jesus talked about guarding against the sin of lust he said that if your right eye caused you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. Jesus was not telling us to physically maim ourselves but he was warning us in a very clear and graphic way that what we allow our eyes to see has serious consequences because it can lead us towards sin.
Guard Where You Go.
In order to guard against Covid-19 we keep a social distance of at least 6 feet from each other. We need to be careful not to put ourselves in proximity to someone who may have the disease. When you see that sign on the floor of the store that reminds you to stay 6 feet away, remember to keep a safe distance from sin. We are more mindful of social distance than we are of sin distance. We allow ourselves to go places where we know we will be tempted.
In Proverbs 6:16-19 God lists 6 things that He hates. One of those the things He hates is “feet that make haste to run to evil.” In Psalm 1 it says, “Blessed is the man who walk not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” Keep a safe distance from those who will lead you back towards sin and the places that tempt you to sin.
Boost Your Immune System.
One of the things I am increasingly aware of during the pandemic is my immune system. If you come into contact with Covid-19, the better your immune system is and the healthier you are the better chance you have of fighting it off. This is why I am being careful of what I put in my body. I am eating better, taking supplements and exercising regularly. More important than any mask, or hand-sanitizer, or social distance is a healthy body and immune system.
In the fight against sin, your best defense is a good offense. What are you doing to strengthen yourself in the Lord everyday? When you rely on His strength the battle can be won. Are you setting aside time to simply be with Him and hear from Him each day? Are you taking time to gaze at His beauty and wonder at His grace? The more beautiful He is to you the less you will be drawn to sin.
Be careful out there. The pandemic is a serious thing. But more importantly, be careful for your soul.