Sunday, November 6, 2016

Semper Vigilans (11/6/16)

We all have an idea of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. Stealing is wrong, while giving to others is right. Lying and selfishness are bad, but telling the truth and standing up for what is right despite persecution are good. It's easy with some things... I don't have the urge to steal or murder, and jealousy does not often seep in. 

But what about when judgement and discernment are darkened, and the lines get blurred? What happens when something starts out harmless, seeming neither good nor bad, and slowly turns into something evil? Sometimes it happens so slowly, so gradually, that it can be hard to notice.

Until someone is searching, that is. Searching through different parts of your life, sifting through each and every layer - not necessarily looking for the bad, but looking all the same - and you start to squirm under the scrutiny, trying to subtly push that evil you are associated with away so that they don't happen to see. It didn't seem bad, and maybe it still doesn't... but deep down you know that something has changed. Something has grown darker and darker, and you didn't even realize it was happening.

I've heard it said that committing a certain kind of sin more than once can be more dangerous than we realize. It's like an iron on that part of our conscience - the first time it hurts, and maybe the second or third or even fourth, but after so long, you can't feel it anymore. Your nerves there are dead and although you still know it's wrong, it seems more acceptable the more you do it. Just because it doesn't hurt anymore doesn't mean it's not still doing damage. Your nerves in that area could be dead while they are thriving in another, causing you to be in shock at the discovery of some new evil, but when someone points out your own sin, you brush it off. "It's not like that," you protest, trying to convince yourself and others that your sin isn't as great as others.

Semper Vigilans - Always Vigilant

As Christians, we should be ever-watchful, always vigilant against the onslaughts of evil. Evil would be much easier to battle if it was blunt and outright, but it's usually not. It usually tries to creep in without our notice, and slowly sneak past our defenses. Get us to do the "little" bad things and gradually let them build up until we are scared and confused, even trapped, wondering where in the world all this started and how they ended up there. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. What a comforting thought, to know that, in Christ, we are stronger than our temptations. In Christ, we are stronger than whatever the devil might try to throw at us. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  

Matthew 10:27 - But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 

Don't let your guard drop. Don't let your walls down. Don't get cocky and arrogant in your thinking, believing that the way is clear and you won't be tempted. You will - be ready to recognize the evil in this world and deny it. With God, all things are possible.