Sunday, February 15, 2004

The Secret to Spiritual Success

"And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you." - I Cor. 5:2 (NKJV)

            The secret to success can't be found in this verse, but this verse will lead to it. In the church at Corinth there was sexual immorality. Not only that, it was not dealt with. Paul was indignant when he wrote verse 2, and quickly stated later that though he was not there, he himself had already judged and they should do the same. This verse teaches us 2 lessons:

1. That sin and problems in the church and among Christians are serious and should be dealt with harshly.
2. That for Christians to overlook and even take pleasure in those who disobey, is just as sinful.

The Corinthians were so arrogant and carnal that they even excused a man who was committing immorality with his own stepmother. A practice that even Gentiles weren't guilty of. How depraved this makes the church of God look. And yet he was not excommunicated or taken away as was the normal procedure.

So here is the secret to success. If you have ever tried to quit smoking, drinking, eating, go on a diet, exercise more or just plain stop that habitual sin, I am going to tell you the secret to success.

The secret is DESIRE. That's right, desire. Until you are completely disgusted with yourself or your sin you will NEVER have the power to quit. Until your desire to quit is stronger than your desire to sin, you will always give in to that sin.

            And that is the dirty little secret of Christians all across America: they enjoy their sin too much to give it up. You may say, "Well, I really don't enjoy it that much. I hate to do it and I feel horrible afterward." If you hated it more you wouldn't do it. We have not only tolerated blatant, blasephemous sins, we have brought them into our homes and exposed our children to them and said, "That's okay." IT'S NOT OKAY!

            This is not to say that Christ is not the source of our strength, He most certainly is. And there is nothing He wants more than for us to come to Him as we are: dirty, filthy, dowtrodden and discouraged. But at some point in a Christian's life filled with habitual sin there has to be an awakening that our victory over sin has slipped away, much to our own fault. There is no disputing the sovereignty of God, but there is something very powerful in the choice that God gave Adam. It is the choice that you and I go through every day, some of us many times a day.

            It's about time Christians became DISGUSTED with their choices, themselves and their sins. Stop holding on and you will see your desire fade. You WILL NOT and CANNOT change until you decide what you enjoy the most. I hear people say all the time that they really don't enjoy it that much but it's a proven fact of life: you voluntarily do what you enjoy. (Visitation? tithing? church? etc. Is it volutary? Do you enjoy it?)

It's your decision. You can change. It's up to you, so stop telling yourself it's not.

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