Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Slow Fade


1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Sin.

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!
God bless!

18 comments:

  1. Sometimes the property we fail to watch over is our own soul. Thanks for the post, Martha!

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  2. Very nice. Yes, we have to be watchful about our thoughts. We get easily tempted and hence should always be on our guard.

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  3. A slow fade is the perfect description of the enticements of sin, so subtle, yet so strong. The enemy sure knows what buttons to push to get us sidetracked and head off in the wrong direction.

    This is an important post, Martha ...

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    1. Oh, he certainly does, Linda! My buttons get pushed more often than I'd like to admit, but I thank God that He is running interference for me. Don't know what I'd do with Him and His Word.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha, you're are spot on in this post. To God, sin is sin; to think there is a little sin is to head for a big fall (as you've pointed out). Giving satan a foothold is a very dangerous thing indeed!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. "No footholds for Satan" should be our motto, Kim. Sadly, it doesn't take much sometimes for the enemy to get under our skin. But standing on God's word AND applying it as you recently posted, will go far to keep us safe from his slings and arrows.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Yes, Martha, yes! Truth spoken truthfully! Sin is insidious. We are so careful to avoid the *big* stuff - but it's all too often the small *weeds* that slowly invade our hearts. So often sin isn't the huge avalanche, but a small pebble that gains momentum, eventually leading to a landslide. Compromise is good in relationships to get along better with other people, but compromise with sin is never, ever good.

    GOD BLESS.

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    1. Sharon, you are absolutely right - compromise with sin only leads to more, and often darker, more disturbing, sin. It's so crucial to turn those temptations over to God quickly before they can begin to control us and our actions. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Amen to that!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. So true. The little things matter. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I forget. So thankful God continually draws me back to Himself so that I remember and see who He is and who I am in Him. Very good! Thank you, Martha.

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    1. So often, Jason, it is the little things that distract us and lead us astray if not placed in check. I, too, as so thankful for our attentive and loving God who calls us back to Him time and time again.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Hi Martha! This post hit me very deeply. Your illustration of the watchman who gets less and less watchful over time was very powerful. And finally the Casting Crowns lyrics. Yikes. I think it's hitting me because I need to be more watchful myself.
    I don't want to fall..
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil, there's not a one of us who doesn't need to be more watchful of those "little foxes" that want to creep in and steal our joy. Glad you liked the image of the watchman and the lyrics from Casting Crowns. When I watched the music video I linked above, it was not without tears!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Powerful lyrics and words worth pondering. Great photo too. that polar bear made me smile

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    1. Yes, a very powerful song, indeed, Jean. It's always moved me.
      So glad the photo made you smile. When I found it, I smiled, too, as it was so perfect for this post.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Each decision we make is important...even the tiniest ones.
    I'm so thankful God sees us as we are and is willing to forgive us.

    Love that song. I hadn't heard it in a long time.

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    1. Yes, TC, every decision is of utmost importance. May God always help us to make the right ones.
      It is such a moving song, for sure, and always brings tears to my eyes - how God loves us and wants the best for us when we so often fail - such mercy and grace!
      Love and blessings!

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