Keeping Sin at a Distance

in Christian Living/Situational Evil Holiness Obedience/Discipleship Prayer Sin/Temptation

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Every believer has at least one. Just when you think you've beaten it down; it rears its ugly head. Just when you say, "Mastered!" you find yourself stooping to serve it again. Just when you think you've starved it to death; there you are feeding the monster. The writer to the Hebrews calls it "the sin that so easily entangles us" (Hebrews12:1). As one writer says, "[it is] the sin that dogs our feet."

In our passage today, Peter likens these sinful snares to soldiers coming to make war. Equipped with the tanks of anger, missiles of pride, swords of lust, and machine guns of greed, these "soldiers" come to attack your soul. Their purpose is not so much to kill you but, rather, to render you useless and ineffective. A broken and wounded follower of Jesus is more valuable to the enemy than a dead one.

Peter says that when these soldiers show up, do battle with them! Hold them back. Don't allow them to have entry into your heart. Practically, this means ...

... implementing safeguards that protect you from seamy internet sites.

... retreat and pray when you find your blood starting to boil.

... serve others (an antidote to pride).

... give generously (an antidote for greed).

... acknowledge your "besetting" sin and deal with it.

Every believer has a "sin that dogs our feet." Take the necessary steps to keep it at a distance.

Father, remind me that staying close to Jesus involves some very practical steps. Give me insight into my heart, honesty to admit my sin, and courage to do something about it. In Jesus' name. Amen.