I read last week about a brave nine-year-old girl in Washington state who fought off a mountain lion. Apparently, “Lily” and a couple of her friends were playing hide and seek, not realizing the cougar was also hiding and seeking them. Her two friends got away, but Lily was left to defend herself alone against the big cat. Thankfully, she got away and is recovering from some bites and scratches.
I read multiple accounts of Lily’s courageous struggle, and I’m thinking about our struggles against sin. In Genesis 4, Cain was so jealous and angry with his brother Abel, the Lord warned, “sin is crouching at your door” (verse 7). If Cain stayed bitter and angry, he would open that door for sin to pounce him like a hungry lion. Cain ignored God’s warning and tragically killed his own brother.
Some sins are small at first, but if left unchecked, “when sin gets full grown, it leads to death” (James 1:15). Satan himself “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We’re crazy to think we can snuggle little pet sins imagining they won’t grow up to bite us.
So, what can we do? Here’s two suggestions: 1) memorize portions of God’s Word. As the Psalmist said: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (119:11); and 2) mortify sin in your life. That is, kill it. Don’t tolerate “little sins,” as they will get bigger, stronger, and harder to overcome.
Instead, seek God’s help to be “putting to death the [sinful] deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). This can’t be done in our own strength, but through the Holy Spirit who lives in us by faith in Christ. As they say, be killing sin before it kills you!
Comments or Questions? Email Pastor Jeff: firstname.lastname@example.org