Monday, October 10, 2011

Presto Change-o!

The sign of the cross, the Lord's Prayer, even, dare I say it, the Psalms or the "armour" of Ephesians 6... These are not meant be magical "Abracadabras!" or "Ala-kazams!". They are not the source of salvation. They don't provide us with some mystical, impervious bubble to ward off sin, but they ARE meant to direct us back toward God in whatever situation we find ourselves. We are the ones who make the choice to "master" sin.

I say this because I recently encountered the sting of sin even after I had gotten on my knees, made the sign of the cross, prayed the Lord's prayer & parts of the Psalms. How pious of me. I was sure I had sufficiently submitted myself to God. I was "clean & strong" in conscience (in my conscious opinion)... However, sin was still crouching at my door. It didn't run away or go "poof" while I was praying. It simply stepped out & waited. I heard it murmuring outside the door. What was it saying? I had to know. I placed my hand upon the knob & turned it. I only opened the door a crack- and then sin grabbed me & slammed the door behind us.

I thought about 1 Corinthians 10:12- "If you think you're standing firm, take heed, lest you fall..." It seems the very moment I think I've gained security & confidence in my own righteousness, sin pipes up. James 1:14 says "Each man is tempted when he is lured & enticed by his own desire". Magic words or scripture didn't keep the sin away. So what now? I repented once again, but remained troubled. If I'm lured away & enticed to sin by my own desire, that means there's still something about me that's not fully submitted to God, even though I pray the words & believe them in my heart. What could have averted sin this time? What could have kept me away from that door? Should I have read my Bible? Prayed more fervently? Should I have called out to Mary, the Saints & all God's angels to help me? I could have... but the question remains: What could I have actually done to "master sin" in the moment? I realized I wasn't a victim, but a willing participant. In order to master sin, the only thing I could have done was to acknowledge that I was powerless in & of myself. I needed some good old fashioned fear... fear of God, that is. So called "magic" words & motions can help me think about God's attributes in the midst of danger, but I actually have to get my hand off the knob & step...(no, run) away from that door. I can't even for a moment give temptation the audience it desires lest it bait me & grab hold...

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