I am often reminded of a story of when I was very young and was staying with my Uncle John. I was supposed to be on a diet and couldn’t have anything sweet, but I wanted ice cream. For some reason the conversation we had ended up on tape and every once in a while it comes out to haunt me. On the tape I am trying to convince him over and over again and I quote, “I can have a wittle bit, just a wittle bit, Uncle John.” I was certain that just a ‘wittle’ bit of ice cream would not hurt and perhaps it wouldn’t, but the problem was that who was going to stop there with a little bit. It is sort of like the potato chip commercial, ‘no one can eat just one.’ We laugh and chuckle but the truth is we do the same things in our Christian lives, we are convinced that we can handle some things, certain ‘small’ sins and they won’t cause any harm. Little do we know the danger that lie in that. Sin and temptations are so deceiving and deceptive and as little and harmless as they appear they carry with them great and grave dangers.
I remember from years back a story of a woman in Texas who had burned down her house simply trying to get rid of a snake. According to the local official, while the woman was doing some yard work she encountered a snake, which she decided to soak with gasoline before lighting it on fire. She did so and when she lit the fire the flaming snake slithered off into a brush pile which was very close to the house, igniting the brush pile on fire which caught the house on fire and it spread rapidly from there, even damaging a neighbors home. The Shreveport CBX affiliate KSLA reported that while several firefighters battled to extinguish the fire, the flames ‘completely engulfed the house’ and tragically it was a complete loss. In her frantic 9-1-1 call the woman exclaimed, “We were trying to kill a snake with fire… it done caught the house……” In the aftermath of the fire that totally destroyed her house she regretted her decision to set the snake on fire. But the problem was, at that point she couldn’t back up and it was too little, too late.
Oh, how we have played with fire with the sin in our lives and it has damaged us so much. One mistake leads to another and soon we have created a nightmare. We never know or see what the sin is going to take us or how it will harm us until it is too late. The bible teaches us that sin begins with a simple desire and then that desire is conceived and it gives way to death. If only we could avoid the temptation in the first place we wouldn’t have to worry about putting the fire out or recovering from the damage that is done. God promises us the strength to carry out His will in our lives if we will only ask. Lets determine today that we will seek Him and call on Him and His strength and not have to face the ‘fires’ of this world.
Because we're His,
Pastor Michael Tunnell