Grass is not greener on the other side (Part 2)
Beware of distractions! Distraction is one of the greatest danger for a Christian. As soon as we take our eyes off the Lord we are putting ourselves into the enemies territory. Peter got distracted while he was walking in the water and he gave way to fear and started sinking. David got distracted by watching Bathsheba and indulged himself in adultery. Samson got distracted from his vision and started pursuing the lust of his heart and finally lost his vision – both spiritually and physically. Distractions cannot come only in the form of sexual temptations and it can also come in the way of workaholism, needless worries etc. Whatever may be the distraction, it will always result in severe consequences if it is not dealt early and brutally. Jesus was once distracted by Peter and Jesus didn’t take it lightly: The bible says,
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ “
When Jesus said “If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.” he didn’t mean this in a literal sense but he actually meant how we should deal with distractions in life. Jesus meant we should deal it in a brutal way even if it is painful. Because no one understood the dangers of sin better than Jesus as he has seen the effects of sin in the history of mankind from generations to generations.
The bible issues a strong warning against sin in the book of Genesis:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Here are some realities of sin we must know:
> Pleasing to eyes and irresistible
When Abraham gave a choice to Lot to chose a country to go to, Lot chose Sodom and Gomorrah because it seemed like “garden of Eden” to him. Sin is always attractive and delusional. It always starts with fantasies and will look as though it is irresistible.
> It will make you restless and sick
When Amnon fell in love with Tamar, the bible says, “Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill.”
When Samson fell in love with Delilah the bible says, “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.”
Sin will make you restless and let you take your eyes off the Lord, your family and your ministry.
> It always has an ugly face
In the story of Amnon and Tamar, after Amnon raped Tamar, the bible says, “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!””
When you are tempted to commit a sin you will never think about the ugliness of sin and the after-effects. Sin will only show you the immediate pleasures contrasting your current situation.
> It will assassinate you
The Pastor of Free chapel church, Jentezen Franklin once said,
“Sin thrills you and kills you. It fascinates you and assassinates you.”
It is not an exaggeration but it is the true reality of sin.
In the story of Amnon and Tamar, Amnon was killed by Tamar’s brother Absalom in a brutal way. Samson lost his eyesight and he was mocked and ridiculed by his enemies. Sin will destroy you, your family and eventually your calling.
> You will not decide the cost
When you are tempted you will think “I am in control and I can manage”. But the truth is, the minute you accept the offer you have given the control to your enemy and it is your enemy who then controls you. You will think “I won’t lose anything” but it is the enemy who decides the cost of your decision. When Delilah asked Samson about the secret of his strength he thought he was in control. But slowly he was giving away the control and eventually it was the philistines who directed Delilah and controlled Samson.
> A cup of soup vs your calling
Bishop TD Jakes once said,
“Don’t make permanent decisions over a temporary circumstance.”
Esau gave up his birthright (which was equivalent to his calling) to a mere soup just because he was famished! He traded his life for a cup of soup. He made a permanent decision over a temporary circumstance and spoilt his whole life.
One of the most successful American golfers of our time is Tiger Woods. In November 2009 news broke that Woods had countless affairs with several different women while he was married. This is what he said. “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish.”
The bible says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
If you are getting distracted in life the only best option is to deal with those distractions in a brutal way and fix your eyes on the Lord and continue to run the race.
My Amazon pick of the week: