What leads to sin? I heard a priest in his homily once define sin as “distance from God.” He described us as standing on a shore. On the opposite shore is God. The water separating us from God is sin. God beckons to us from across the water. We know that God is offering wonderful rewards, an eternity of bliss! All we have to do is swim across and join Him. But swimming is hard work. It’s fun at first but soon our arms get tired and we find it easier to let the current carry us back to the shore where we started. We feel guilty for our failure so we fall on our knees and pray for God’s help in reaching Him. God hears our cry and sends an angel in a helicopter to pick us up. We are whisked back to paradise! We are overjoyed and promise never to leave God’s side of the water again. After a few years (months, days, hours?) we feel confident enough to go for a short swim. We won’t swim too far from shore, we promise. But once we get back in the water, we forget to keep our eye on the shoreline. We’re having so much fun splashing around we don’t notice ourselves drifting ever so steadily back to the far shore. The next thing we know, we’re back where we started and the cycle repeats itself.
Sound familiar? The devil is given access to us when we forget about God and let the current of temptation carry us away. The ancient Israelites had the same problem. In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel reminds the Israelites that when they were in bondage in Egypt they cried out to the Lord for salvation. He sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them, but once they had been delivered they forgot about God and ended up attacked and overrun by the Philistines.” Jeff Cavins in his scripture study course “A Quick Journey Through the Bible” calls this the sin cycle. We sin, we end up enslaved to sin, we beg God’s forgiveness, we receive salvation, then we go on our merry way and forget about God and fall again into sin. Sin, Servitude, Supplication, Salvation, Silence. It’s during the period of silence, silence toward God that we give in to temptation.
The British politician, Leonard H. Courtney said “The price of peace is eternal vigilance.” The same is true of peace in God’s love. We have to be aware of when we are drifting away from God in order to stay close to Him. Last week I wrote about my time as an actor in LA and how I never asked God for assistance on my career journey. I never stopped believing in God. I never rejected God. I just decided that I didn’t need his help and let myself drift away. Lucklily, God’s helicopter service operates 24/7!
Have a Blessed Week!