Thursday, 9 June 2022

Stumbling Blocks

Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
      
      Hebrews 12:1b 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. The statement of caution we are to take notice of - is, "Let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles us." We all have that sin or those transgressions that so easily cause us to stumble. I know someone who fights jealousy to the point of crying about it. I know of a person who cannot stop visiting gambling facilities and is repenting regularly for wasting so much money that he knows God has blessed him with. A few sipping-saints have reported that they are having difficulty stopping their use of alcohol. All these activities are not a problem until they are! Yes, I have my nemesis too. We all seem to have something that just beats us up and reminds us of our constant need for our saviour.
      Someone might say, "The temptations mentioned above, are not a problem to me at all." I could agree with that, but at the same time, we need to realize that what becomes a demonic dragged-out war for one person is not a big deal for another to withstand the temptation. Meanwhile, the sins you fall for might seem so lame to others as they roll their eyes wondering why you just can't get it together. There is always something we are trying to overcome and we cannot do it alone. We need Jesus at all times in all sinful situations to help keep us in the light of His grace. Eph. 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 
      Even when winning our battle over sin, it is God's grace at work within us. Defeating sin is not accomplished through our willpower alone. Sin, iniquity, and transgressions are overcome through the blood and sacrifice of the Lord working within our free will so we can walk in Christ's righteousness. It is all God's redemptive grace and finished work at the cross that gives us the power to overcome any stronghold. The Lord even dresses us up in His righteous armour so we can fight the battles the enemy throws at us. Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
    Cain's stumbling block of jealousy toward his brother Abel, got the better of him because he would not listen to what God was saying. The Lord's warning that sin was crouching at the door of Cain's heart and the sin of jealous anger was waiting to destroy him. Cain rejected God's loving admonition, and the result was that jealousy won the battle. Gen. 4:10 But the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! God's warnings are for us to hear and work out with His guidance so we can defeat the sin that so easily entangles us. It is not a one-time fight and that trespass is destroyed forever. No, it is spiritual warfare that we engage in every time the temptation shows up to tempt our souls again. The good news is through Christ we can win the battles. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
      King Saul's insecurity and inferiority caused him to become jealous of David because of a few song lyrics exalting the battle David won over the Philistines. 1Sam. 18:8 Then Saul became very angry, for this lyric displeased him; and he said, “They have given David credit for ten thousands, but to me they have given credit for only thousands! Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” Saul was inventing a kingdom takeover by David that did not exist. It was all in Saul's mind causing his imagination to create problems where there were none. His insecurities were an entrance for the devil to create jealousies and anger to manifest. The sin of jealousy then created the sin of hatred and murderous rage in Saul's heart. Sin begets sin, and if we do not deal with the sin that so easily entangles us, it leads to uglier transgressions.
      Another stumbling block the enemy of our soul uses - is when we sin, Satan tries to cause us to hate ourselves. This is such a successful tactic. If Satan can get us into self-loathing, it can be a long way back to redemption because we cannot shake the ugly image we have created of ourselves. Meanwhile, God is in love with us, wanting us to come to Him with a repentant heart so we can defeat the works of the devil. While tangled in sin, we tend to forget that Jesus defeated Satan, death, and hell with His perfect sacrifice of Himself on the cross. Rev. 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. This battle has already been won by God. We need to use our faith and act within the Lord's master plan that overcomes any iniquity that becomes a battleground for our souls. 
      If anyone has fallen into sin, then get up, and repent. God has won our eternal souls, and our names are written in the Lord's scarred hands and the book of eternal life. Don't let the failures we have experienced sour the multiple blessings that we live in and that await us through Christ our Lord. We are more than conquerors in Him. Yes, there are stumbling blocks in life, but there are far more victories that await us in Jesus name. Amen!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for continuing to deliver your wisdom in a way that is real and encouraging. This is what promotes change. Being able to recognize the issue in ourselves, and spend the time finding God’s solution to the problem.

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