My family was at the beach this past weekend. Our toddlers were enjoying playing near the water’s edge and venturing into the small pools that had formed with the low tide. Our oldest son waded out with his small, plastic, orange boat and began to float it on top of the surface. After a few moments, he became bored with the phenomenon and looked up to see what his siblings were doing. In that moment, a gentle wave took his little ship under and the slow current moved it past him in seconds. I was cautiously watching from just a few steps up the shore and shouted to him that he was going to lose his beloved toy if he wasn’t careful. He quickly focused back on the water, reached down and retrieved the vessel. Smile on his face, he said, “Don’t worry, Mom. I got it.”
That picture has stuck with me, and I’ve thought a lot about that little, plastic boat. How quickly it was taken under. Sometimes, we are like that boat. We launch out into the edge of sin. For a while, we may appear to “float” along with no change. We seem to be succeeding in walking the line of rebellion with no consequences. We may be enjoying whatever vice we have chosen, and no one is the wiser. On the surface, life appears to carry on. Satan has convinced us fully that we can “dabble” in whatever indiscretion it is. We are not aware of the danger lurking underneath. In fact, we are utterly oblivious to it.
Before we realize it, we are completely overcome. The sin that seemed so harmless has consumed us. It is all we think about. We feel as though we are drowning in our own circumstances. It begins to damage relationships. It starts to get dark and hopeless. We may try to convince ourselves and others that we are fine; things are under control. But inside, we know the sad truth is that we are powerless to change. We need help. We need a shout from the shore. We need a hand to reach down and lift us up.
In our Christian walk, the sin we choose to commit doesn’t have to be labeled. It is all the same. Each of us goes astray. That is why it is important to know our enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” We must be on guard and vigilant. There is no “harmless” sin. We don’t float on the surface without getting sucked under. Satan would have our marriages, families, and lives destroyed. We must put on our Gospel armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). We have to be accountable to other believers, in love. “Brothers, if anyone is caught in transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2) Ultimately, we need Jesus to continue to rescue us. Our journey is a process of sanctification. We must repeatedly repent of any wrong and seek God’s deliverance from sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Examine yourselves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5a) Ask God to search you and know your heart (Psalm 139:23). When He reveals the fault within you, reach up and grab His hand. I am constantly aware that I am nothing without Jesus. My prayer is that you will seek Christ to purify your heart. Be blessed!