1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
Not a popular word in today's secular culture. In fact, the world would have us think that our perception of sin is archaic and meaningless. And Satan is lurking about, just salivating at the prospect of pushing us into situations that, if we are not standing firm in God's Word, are sure to make us slip and fall.
But ironically, it is our own propensity to sin, which threatens us more than all the temptations thrown at us by Satan and the world at large. As Jerry Bridges states in Chapter Twelve, The Discipline of Watching, in his book, The Discipline of Grace: "Our only safeguard is a sense of deep humility as we realize how powerful indwelling sin still is. Never begin to think there are areas of temptation where you don't need to be on your guard. That could be your downfall."
Imagine a night watchman, standing guard over and patrolling a warehouse. At first, he is diligent, taking his responsibility to protect the property entrusted to him with all seriousness. But as night after night after night drags on, and nothing of danger or consequence occurs, the watchman is tempted to let down his defense. "After all," he reasons to himself, "nothing ever happens out of the ordinary. I think I'll skip that second patrol tonight. It's just a waste of time and energy."
Little does he know that someone has been casing the property, watching and waiting for such an opportunity to break in, unnoticed. The successful robbery that ensues costs the night watchman his job.
And that is how sin creeps into our lives when we fail to be vigilant in our study and application of God's Word in our lives, and our failure to recognize that our only hope to stand against evil is with His help. Bridges writes: "Another area where we need to be watchful is the little things of everyday life, the little issues that seem so unimportant - the little lie, the little bit of pride, the little lustful glance, or the little bit of gossip. These may seem too small to bother about, but the Scripture says they are 'little foxes that ruin the vineyards.' (Song of Songs 2:15)"
As soon as those unhealthy thoughts or words form in our minds, we need to turn them over to God and seek His forgiveness. Otherwise, those "little foxes" will overrun us, tearing us apart from within.
This chapter brought to mind the song, Slow Fade by Casting Crowns, which you can listen to here, and the chorus below reminds us of just how insidious those "little" sins can be.
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away.
It's a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away.
People never crumble in a day.
It's a slow fade; it's a slow fade.
This is my last week participating in the study of Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace, led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, fellow Christian bloggers. It's been a marvelous journey for me, and I hope it has been just that for you, too!