I have a confession to make … I’m an adulterer. 😦 Sadly, I have sins in my life that have moved from a one time offense, to a habit, to a compulsion, to an addiction. I mentioned some of those in my last post that you can read here.
In fact, we all need to look at any sinful pattern in our lives that way. We need to face the horrible and destructive truth that we’ve made something or someone, not just our addiction, but also our idol and, worst of all, our illicit lover.
The question you might want to ask yourself is . . .
[Tweet “What or who is your illicit lover—drawing you away from the God who died for you?”]
As we continue on in our “Resurrect Me“ series, I want to look at the heartbreaking way James put this into perspective for us . . .
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?” ~James 4:4-5
I think James used the term adulterous to describe our sin of addiction and idolatry because:
- It reminds us of the way the world operates—pursuing whatever makes us happy in the moment.
- It reminds us of the intimacy we have in our relationship with God. #Godisourhusband (Is. 54:5-6)
- It reminds us of the hurt and betrayal God feels when we let someone or something become more important to us than Him. #heartbrokenGod (Eph. 4:30)
- It reminds us that we’ve broken the covenant God extends to us. #actlikeanenemy (Ezek. 16:59-60)
Thankfully, God holds up His end of the bargain (covenant) with us, no matter what! But the damage to our “fellowship,” due to our habitual sin, should not be ignored or minimized.
What do I mean by “fellowship”? #churchywordalert
I simply mean that it places a wedge between us and our Maker by hindering our intimacy (1 Jn. 1:6-7, James 4:8). And it sometimes can lead to God refusing to hear or answer our prayers (James 4:3, Ps. 66:18).
[Tweet “But … there is grace! There is forgiveness when we turn back to God! #repent”]
“But he gives us more grace. This is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” ~James 4:6
That’s what I want to focus on today. We’ve talked about how subtle these addictions can be. They don’t march into our lives with trumpets blasting to announce their arrival! They slither in at night and entangle and bind us around our feet.
Try walking in freedom with an addiction wrapped around your ankles! You know what comes next! #fallonface
But that’s the best thing that could happen to you! Fall on your face! 😉
Once you’ve identified your “illicit lover(s),” surrender it/them to the Lord—leaving those lovers at His feet.
I mentioned last week that we can’t simply quit our addiction or remove all temptations in life, but we can surrender them to God. That’s when we take the next step of replacing them and not just replacing them with another addiction—though that’s often the “temptation.”
Next week I’ll be looking further in this James passage to see what exactly surrendering and replacing our addictions and habitual sins looks like.
I hope you’ll join me!
How would considering your “habitual sin” as “adultery” motivate you to surrender it to God?
How do you feel about the way God feels about any habitual sins you have in your life?
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Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday.
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