A certain man was hiking in the woods, and came upon a terrible scene. Before him lay a huge, smoldering crater, surrounded by scorched and uprooted trees. Twisted metal was strewn all around, and the tail of a passenger airliner was planted in the ground nearby.
If you thought this was a plane crash, you are wrong. It is actually the result of a plane crash. The crash occured hours ago, and all that remains now is the wreckage. The problem that caused this crash occured even earlier, perhaps while the plane was high in the air and far from here, when all seemed serene and fine. That problem, however, was the result of a damage or defect that probably occured months earlier, when the plane was still on the ground. It may have even flown several flights with this defect with no real trouble. The trouble only manifested when a certain situation allowed the defect to reveal itself, causing the plane to dive to its destruction.
Sinful acts are never the actual problem, or even the cause of the problem. They are only the consequence of a fatal flaw in a person that developed long ago, but only now had the opportunity to manifest itself as an act of sin.
Suppose a man lies to his brother. The question that man should ask himself is not “why did I lie to my brother” but rather “why do I fear the truth?”. Likewise, if a man covets his neighbor’s goods, he should not ask himself “why do I covet those things?” but rather “why am I not content?”. The flaw lies not in the situation or the sin itself, but rather a defect of the heart within. Some call these “character flaws”.
If you feel trapped in a habitual sin, it is because you have a defect, a flaw, that is deep within. When you try to correct the sin, you are only treating the symptoms, not the cause, which mean soon enough the sin will return.
God has promised us life, and life abundantly. He has promised to take care of our needs and to give us joy, peace, and all sorts of wonderful things. He has promised whatever we do not receive here is stored as treasure in Heaven, where neither moth or rust corrupt and thieves cannot break in and steal.
The reason we sin is because we don’t believe God. It’s a harsh thing to come to grips with, but that is the truth. When we don’t believe in one of God’s promises, we develop a fatal flaw in that area of our lives. Then, when a test comes, we fall short and sin against God, because we did not believe His way would work, and we tried a different way.
Consider Eve in the garden, where all sin began. The serpent, who we know is the Devil, simply tells Eve that God is a liar, that the fruit will not kill her, and that God has lied to them to keep them from something fantastic. If Eve had trusted God, she would have known eating the fruit meant death, and that it did not hold anything she needed, or even wanted. She did not however, and neither did Adam, who simply believed the lie by proxy.
Satan is still lying to us. He tells us God cannot be trusted. He tells us that God is trying to keep from us the things we really need and want. He tells us if we would only break God’s laws and take what we want, we would really be happy. The Devil is lying, sin’s wages are death.
Do not believe the lie. By the time your airplane is in a nose-dive, it’s too late to correct the defect. You really can stand on God’s promises. Every day I see Him blessing me in ways I could never have imagined, and sometimes I weep because I didn’t always believe He would. Oh we of little faith, why do we doubt?
I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray, and find in Me thine all in all.”