The Trap of Habitual Sin

We are living in times when scandal among Christian leaders is making headlines almost alongside politicians and celebrities. It’s like we are just waiting for the next man of God to fall which is sad and ungodly. But perhaps we need to ask ourselves when our own scandal might befall us. You see as much as we receive such news with wonder and disbelief we know it doesn’t happen overnight. No one sets out to be an abusive leader, a greedy televangelist or to be a pastor known all over for sexual scandal. Actually I would assume they do the very best to fight it or hide it. Just as none of us wants to succumb to our temptations or be known for it.

But as we pray for our leaders and earnestly seek God to shield them from sin and scandal we might also need to apply this prayer to our own lives. You see as much as our scandal won’t make headlines still it’ll dishonour God, bring disrepute to the Christian family and cause us much grief if we are genuine believers. We need to pray for ourselves but our prayer shouldn’t just be, dear Lord shield me from sin and scandal, Amen.

First, we need to ask God to bring to light those things of which we are prone to fall into. We need to ask, which idols most beckon our hearts for worship? When we are alone and in private which sites seem to call us to click? When we are left with unsupervised money what lies come to our ear? And when we are in positions of leadership how do we treat others? Might we be blamed for what we see in our superiors? To kick off this reflection I want to suggest 3 things we need to know about sin especially habitual sin to inform our prayers and fuel our war with sin.

Habitual Sin begins by Luring us in

I bet many who fell for abusive leadership didn’t even realise how firm their hand was. They just thought they make a strong case and people followed them unanimously. They never realised no one seemed to oppose them or they didn’t let anyone in who could oppose them. Or do you think the man caught up in sexual scandal went out seeking such a reputation? They started with a bit of flirting, a private meeting here, just a lift there, an innocent compliment and before they knew it they were deep in scandal.

What about the money trap? You start by an innocent need with unsupervised money which you vow to return. You tell yourself you are harming no one and you need it. Then it’s for a project that will take a few months and you think I’ll use it and then return it. Sin has a way to lure us in and before we know it we’ve done the unthinkable.

Think about Cain and his brother. It started off with a bit of jealousy, grew into anger and finally it led to murder. God warned Cain, Sin is crouching at your door with it’s desire toward you but you must rule over it, see Gen 4:7. He warns all of us with that sin that so easily seems to captive us if we would only listen. If you want to kill sin start by indentifying it, look out for its triggers and what it promises. Bring it to the Lord before it’s too late. Come and ask for the strength to kill its desire. The allure of sin is where the battle begins and where it needs to be won.

Habitual Sin Thrives in Privacy
Like a thief in the night sin has a courage that seems to thrive in private places. It’s like all over sudden this harmless man transforms when he’s alone. As evil lurks in the dark sin lurks in the secret places. It breeds in privacy and hatches in the dark corners. Or who steals from the money bag when everyone is looking? Who clicks that site when his family is having dinner? It’s the secret unsupervised places and times that sin enjoys.

For this reason the first line of defence with sin ought to be confession and accountability. Bring the temptation to the light and the roaring lion becomes a little cat. Still it can’t be ignored but the environment is different to fight it. When I have confessed a temptation to a brother I often find that though I’m exposed my sin is also exposed. Being vulnerable is said to make you weak but actually in the right company it makes you strong to fight sin. It’s when we hide sin that it’ll have its day with us. We’ll look strong but deep inside we know just how weak we are.

Think about Judas. All those years of taking from Jesus money bag in secret before he sold out his Saviour. What if he told Peter or John his temptation? He may have lost the treasurer’s job but I bet we would be reading of his powerful ministry in the book of Acts. Confessing our sin and seeking accountability gives us the weapons we need to slay the sin monster.

Habitual Sin is Stubborn
One of the things I long for in the new creation is saying the battle with sin is finished. You know why ? Because on this other side it’s never finished. Haven’t you found yourself stuck in a sin you thought you overcome years ago? You prayed many times for God to help you overcome your anger and for sometime it seemed like you won the battle only for the war to sneak in on you. Or maybe it’s that site you used to frequent. You overcome it, got a more healthy, practical and spiritual rythm then one weekend while you are tired and alone there you go. Sin can feel like it has more lives than a cat. Worse it seems to have the ability to resurrect.

Think about Saul with his rage and jealousy. How many times does he seem to forgive David and turn away from his plotting? You think now that David has spared his life he’ll let him be. Unfortunately sin doesn’t say goodbye that easily. Just because you overcome it last time doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. Don’t get me wrong sin can be overcome and will be overcome but I’m saying we need to watch out lest we deceive ourselves with early victory. The battle with sin will be won when we see Jesus in glory. We might win several fronts on this side but we should never let our guard down.

Conclusion
We started this line of thought with stories of Christian leaders making headlines. But I hope by now you’ve realised we are all together in a bigger fight with sin especially with habitual sin. As that African proverb goes, don’t laugh at a boat being tossed forth by winds in the sea for your brother might be in it. Worse with the waves of sin we are all in this boat. We need to pray for our leaders and the church as whole. We need to watch out for the sin that so easily entangles. As John Owen said, we need to be killing sin before it kills us.

The Era of the Popular

I was doing my devotion recently looking at Psalms and I came across Psalms 14 again. It’s probably the least liked of the Psalms in our contemporary world except for those who quote it to win arguments in apologetics. But what strikes me every time I read it is I have a bit of hesitation hearing the word of God call people foolish. It sounds like one of those things your mum says you shouldn’t say in public. I know it doesn’t refer to intellectual inadequacy as it goes for the heart, not the mind. It speaks of how our hearts inform our actions and way of life. I think it explains Genesis 3 and the world we live in perfectly and yet it still feels a bit weird. Why? I think it’s because that’s not a popular thing to say today.

You see we live in the era of popularity. What goes and who we follow is not necessarily based on what is right but what is popular. Our virtue is not right and decent but popular and acceptable depending on where we stand. Sometimes I see people fight and argue thinking they are defending what is right but in reality, they are defending what is popular or unpopular according to their school of thought. Yes, I should say unpopular ideas are also popular these days. Some people just like those guys who stand for what is unpopular.

The martyrs of the age are not those who say I cannot denounce the truth so help me God, but those ready to spill blood on the altar of popular ideas. The politicians we love and celebrate are not always the ones on the side of the truth but those who have chosen the popular side. The preacher who draws crowds to his channel says the things that itch the ears of popular culture. The one who rises to attack him can also earn themselves popularity because some people just don’t like going with the flow. In the end, truth is not what counts but choosing your crowd.

But the question we must ask is a personal one. We need to evaluate what we stand for and ask if we are victims or perpetrators in this war. If there are things that don’t sound right in my head is it because they are wrong or because the culture and the people I follow have made them seem wrong? If I hold to a certain truth and subscribe to a certain school of thought is it because it’s biblical or just what sells in my clan these days? If I hate a certain way of life and don’t want to listen to a particular way of thinking is it because they are just not popular to me? If I hold so strongly to a particular doctrine and expression of faith is it because it’s what’s popular within my denomination? Remember popular or unpopular shouldn’t be where I stop. We need to bring back the truth and the whole truth as the yardstick of our faith and way of life. I propose 2 things to start us off in this discussion:

Start by Evaluating your own School of Thought

We cannot just sit comfortably with a way of thinking because all our heroes stand there. If we are Christians we need to be even more careful with those men and women we hold in the highest regard. I’m not saying we don’t celebrate how God is working through them. But when it comes to questions of faith and how to live the word of God and the whole word should have the last say. I think if we did more reflection beyond what just goes we might hold our convictions with a bit of nuance, we might move camps in theological debates but most importantly we’ll have the right foundation for faith and life. We might also learn something from those we most disagree with. Here I don’t mean we always go for compromise but we should ask ourselves why we believe and live the way we do.

From the word, we learn that our faith is both a shared and personal faith. Certain schools of thought will be big on the personal and not the communal. This is where Jesus and his word are my personal business and I don’t care what others do. Such people might need to be reminded he’s also our Saviour. But on the other hand are those whose faith and religion are merely borrowed from others in their popular domain. They affirm everything their heroes stand for and would disagree with the word if their clan chose to. I want to suggest regardless of where we begin we should get to that point where the word, not just what seems popular and okay in our circle, should inform our faith and lifestyle more. The word will fix our blind spots and give us the right worldview which means sometimes we’ll disagree with our heroes if the word convinces us otherwise. I want to especially suggest that if the Bible holds things in tension we shouldn’t try to edit and fix that out because our heroes stand somewhere else. We might need to survey that tension a bit more. We may have to change our battle fronts for what the word says is non negotiable.

Don’t Be Quick to Dismiss Others

On the other hand, it’s possible to build our faith by always standing for the unpopular side. We might find ourselves always siding with the unpopular and seeking to correct others with our favourite portions of the Word. But that’s not how the Word works. Read well and applied, the word of God will teach us, train us, encourage us, build us, correct and rebuke us, see 2 Tim 3:16-17. All those things should be happening in the life of a believer without always leaning on one side to make us complete. And those things should be present in our ongoing interaction with fellow believers.

But if every time I come to the word I’m only thinking about how to influence others and only seeing one side of this then I’m probably just using the word to cement my school of thought. I won’t learn and grow if the Bible only tells me what I already stand for and what I think others are wrong about. I won’t build fellow believers if I only magnify what we disagree on. When I always come to the word and leave thinking how right I am then there’s something I’m missing. If I only think others should hear a particular passage perhaps pride has overcome me. And if the word only seems to leave me on my own island then I’m probably in too deep with my preferred clan. When I think that only I and my denomination has got things right then I might need the reminder that church universal and scattered is bigger than that.

Conclusion

I know I’m trying to unsettle waters here and leaving you with more questions than answers. It would be easier if I was more specific and I told you exactly what to do. But I think sometimes that’s the problem. Where we are used to being told what to believe and what to do without taking the time to own those beliefs and actions. Don’t get me wrong there’s a good place to firmly teach what to believe and how to act.

But I want to suggest that we need to evaluate our own beliefs and lifestyle not just on the basis of what goes in our popular culture but on what the word says. Wouldn’t it be great if we opened the Bible more than we do Ted talks and Tiktok on issues of faith and life? Wouldn’t we paint a better picture of Christianity to the world if we were more gracious when hearing from other believers and wanting to measure everything by the yardstick of the word? Wouldn’t we be better witnesses of the Gospel if the Bible and the whole Bible, not the popular or unpopular culture was our source of authority?

Finding Rest in a Restless World


There’s a restlessness in us that seems unquenchable
We call it the desire to do better and achieve more
We give our best in life to make it easier
We kill ourselves with work to be able to rest one day


We hope that at one point our lives will be better
Our achievements will be enviable and life enjoyable
All our lives we live a frantic life hoping for stillness one day
We are restlessly looking for rest before the grave steal us


Others have faced the ugly reality of life too early
They were promised hardwork pays but it failed them
Some gave up the restlessness and joined escapism
They are lost in the imaginary world unable to face reality


Like children lost on the way we yearn for home
We long for that day when peace and tranquility will abound
We hope at least once there will be calmness in our lives
Problem is when we get it we are too afraid to lose it


Will a day never come when we sleep like little children?
Will a day come when our hearts find rest and calmness?
Are we to go through this life restless for rest?
Who will deliver us from this frantic exercise we call life?


But there’s a day of rest that comes our way
For some it will be a great day of torture
But for those who believe a day of calm
A day to find eternal rest with our prince of peace


What a tragedy that some will live restless in this life
And yet face worse in the world to come
Friends, turn around, take a moment and look at him
Listen for the offer he makes, accept the rest only he gives


Don’t go through life restless to the end
In Jesus hands you’ll find rest and quietness
All you have to do is listen and trust in him
Come to him who longs to give you his eternal rest


When a society goes to the dogs

It was disgusting to watch that incident at Forest road. The way that boda boda gang treated that lady goes against what’s human, what’s African and most importantly what’s Christian. That men can result to sexual harassment in response to accidental wrong is unthinkable. The video alone is enough to leave you traumatized, imagine what’s happening to that lady. Only the Lord can heal such a wound.

But while this incident should call for decisive action on the perpetrators I think we also need to do serious soul searching as a society. Where are we headed if one cannot walk safely on our roads? And it’s not just because of such violence, it’s literally hard to walk or drive on our roads with boda boda coming from every side with no regard to law or common decency. Where are we headed if hooliganism and gender based violence becomes order of the day? If the social fibre is broken then the hard law should be imposed lest sin imprisons us all as a country.

But we need to ask, who are these children we are bringing up with no respect for human dignity? Who are their role models? What are we passing on? Are we doing anything to counter negative influences? For a country that boasts Christian majority how come we have so little Christian semblance? Are we even a society or just accidental acquitances with no regard for the other person? If the Gospel doesn’t tell me to value the other person at least as I do myself what do I have? I think we need serious work to rebuild our society as Kenyans and especially as Christians. We seriously need the Gospel to work in our people and change one man at a time. If not now then for the future before it’s worse and out of our hands.

We also need to be careful with the seeds we are sowing today. With the comments we make and the divisions we are causing. If we’ll go to any lengths to pursue what we deem right with no regard to human law or dignity then we’ve lost any humanness in us. Worse if we are Christian and the only person that concerns us is ourselves and those in our gang then we’ve lost the faith. I think this incidence is but a tip of a society that has killed any sense of common good and interest of others. We are a society that celebrates self, idolizes our brand and will crush anyone who tries to come between us and our idols. It’s a shame that we even proudly share this in the public space. And when chicken come to roost we’ll not believe what we have become.

This incident made me ask some serious questions. I thought blaming boda boda guys isn’t enough though this a menace that demands immediate action. But I also think the problem is broader and one that involves all of us. For a son, a brother, cousin, husband, future father, neighbor and citizen I wondered what I’m I doing to pursue the good of others not just my own and those that concern me? Can people feel safe when they pass me by the road? How do I look at the opposite gender? What comments do I make and what signals do I send? For the many I walk with in the Christian faith, what values I’m I teaching and modelling? Is the Gospel of my confession true in my lifestyle? Unless we take this issue personally, see it right to its roots and commit to change one man at a time and society as a whole, things will only get worse.

My prayer as a Christian is the Lord Jesus would comform me and the men among us to his nature. That like with him others would be safe and happy around us. May he remake us like the Philippians 2 model man who seeks not his own interests first but those of others even at his own expense. May he kill the sense of pride that says I’m right and my rights come first. May he help us not only prioritise our burdens but carry those of others.

I have sought to end this in prayer because I know how sinful and selfish I am. Though I know what the Bible calls me to do, selfishness wouldn't let me. Until we die to self like he did we will always put ourselves first at the expense of others. Only the man who follows Jesus is safe to walk by. Only such men will raise children with true biblical values. Only such men will make a safe society for women and other men. And it is only that true and practical Gospel that can save us.

When men are blind to the obvious!

I’m always amazed how easily we can miss things that are right infront of us. When something is so obvious to everyone else except us. Later on you hear friends say they can’t believe you didn’t see that. It was so obvious, how could you not see it. Many times we miss details about ourselves and it takes someone else to show us what should be plain to us. How is that possible? Are we just bad at reading ourselves and situations around us? Is there something wrong with our eyes.

I want to suggest there’s something else at play here, that the eyes of our hearts dictate what we see and sometimes undermine what should be plain to all. That we tend to see what our minds tells us and our hearts can blind us to the reality infront of us. Our eyes zoom on what our heart dictates and we miss what we don’t want to see. It’s no suprise that two people looking at the same situation can come out with different and sometimes contradicting interpretations. So if you go through life informed only by the desires of your heart you’ll be as blind as a bat. You’ll only see what your heart craves and undermine what challenges your lifestyle.

When it comes to the question of faith this is what we forget. That it’s really not a just question of evidence infront of us. It’s more a problem of the eyes within, it’s the inner man that calls the shots here. A man born blind and the one who enjoys the light of day are no different in this. They are both slaves to their heart desires until the strong light of the Gospel shines through. You listen to them argue vehemently like passionate intelligent men but it’s just the heart fighting to keep the status quo. They don’t want to change and therefore they aim at anyone and anything that challeges this. You see if the question of faith was merely a matter of evidence no one who’s ever looked at the sun would be a non believer.

Paul speaking to the Romans says creation testifies loudly about the creator. The morning breeze whispers his breath. The high mountains scream of his power. And from the lips of children comes his praise. Our eyes and ears testify against us because we see and hear the testimony of our maker every second we breath. And yet we remain so blind to not only ignore him but undermine this testimony. We overturn every pointer to him and live like it wasn’t there to our condemnation. The Bible says:

19 …what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1 NIV

The desires of our hearts overcome our eyes and we declare God has no say in our sphere. Our hearts wage war against his plain testimony. We see the wonder of creation but nothing about the creator. We feel the breeze but our conscience stops at the mere enjoyment. We enjoy the masterpiece of creation but either stop at that or go as far as saying it’s all an accident. Our eyes stop where our hearts decree and it doesn’t matter what reality dictates. It sounds outrageous but when you realise it’s the heart that sees it makes a lot of sense.

So we ask, is there a way out? We surely don’t want to go through life unaware of what should be obvious to us do we? I mean how can we call ourselves men of science and technology when we can’t trust our own eyes? How can we claim to be in control of our lives when we miss what should be obvious to us? And what’s to protect us from danger if we won’t even see it coming? And if the Bible is right, danger coming like a thief in the night. We might be meeting our maker tonight with nothing to defend us from his just wrath.

But the Bible says there’s a way out through the Gospel. And what I love about the Gospel is that the same God before whom we stand condemned, the one we’ve been denying and undermining all these years is the same that rescues us. There’s a way out if we’ll stop ignoring what God says and hiding our heads in the sand. It’ll start with confronting the eyes of our heart with the truth of the Gospel. For once we need to come out of hiding, to stop the blame game and be men enough to accept our guilt so we can seek his salvation. We need to be saved from the lies of our hearts so we can see life and this world plainly from the eyes of God as his Word shows us.

Many have come before us and left blinded by the eyes of their heart. Hell is full of people who cannot raise a finger against God that he didn’t make himself known. Sure we don’t get to see everything perfectly not but from his viewpoint we’ll see everything as we should. Don’t wait until it’s too late to see what should be plain to all. Don’t wait for fate to tell you how could you not see what was so obvious. Don’t be like the Pharisees who saw Jesus and his works but refused to see the truth that pointed to him as the Saviour they were waiting for. Come to him today for the salvation that only he can give. To receive new sight and a new identity.

11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

JOHN 1 NIV

The Mirage of this Life

Given a choice between heaven and this world many choose what they can see. They’d rather have the bird in the hand that 9 in the bush. This world and it’s promises seem tangible. And nothing is more appealing and trustworthy than what we can see and touch. We want to live life to the fullest here and now because tomorrow is unknown. Why deny yourself for life on some cloud when you can enjoy things here and now? We are realists and we go with what makes sense to us.

But let us unpack this realism. How much of this world really is in our hands? COVID has shown us more clearly than ever that we are just one pandemic away from want and disaster. One job loss from poverty. That all you need to bring you down to your knees is a disease. Add economic breakdown and our realism changes. You are one serious illness away to hating the offer of this world. And the reality of this world is that you can’t have this world. You can only lease its temporarily joys before nature rudely interrupts you.

YOLO philosophy forgets that you can barely live down here. That what the world offers it quickly takes away. That in truth what’s before us is a mirage and as soon we get near it goes further. The world dangles life before us but it can barely breath. We spend all our lives seeking a life that is taken away in a second. We try mitigate risk, build stamina and eat well. Then one day out of nowhere the pandemic of death comes without knocking. Everything you held dear is taken away with no apology or notice.

It’s then that we revisit the earlier offer and realize we only have one true choice. That this world can’t be offered because it can’t be given. It’s already on the expiry date. Here we only get a land lease for a short while. It’s heaven and hell that is truly on offer. And the mirage of this life says we should reconsider this. That what looks far off is actually very near to us. That before the next breath the after life could be our reality. And however long it takes we will be confronted by that choice sooner or later.

When we get our reality right the offer of heaven makes a lot of sense. It becomes the reasonable choice. The one land we can get permanently to establish our roots. And because the marker of the world is trustworthy we can depend on him however unlikely it seems to the naked eye. It’s actually outrageous to stand on the ground we stand, to breathe the air we breath and delight in the blessings of this life yet term heaven too good to be true. It would seem we doubt the carpenter while in his workshop.

But where nature provides only suggestions about the reality of heaven, the Bible affirms and confirms that we can call it our home. In the eye of scripture nothing is more real and material than the future ahead of us. The call of faith isn’t at all blind for we get more than enough reason to trust in God. It says we can be sure of his faithfulness more than the rising of the sun. What he has said he will do and those who believe are already the citizens of heaven. This world is passing away and with it all it’s promises. But our future is with God and in his eternal city.

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21. NIV

When Men Teach God a Lesson


We live in a time when people not only rebel against God but where godly values are seen as being evil not just old fashioned. A time when many believe Christians and the God of the Bible should learn something from our woke world. A time when it’s not the church confronting the world but the world raising an accusation finger on the church. When our world truly believes the church and her long history of teaching and demanding obedience to an old book is actually the problem.

In truth we’ve been here long before only for the most part this has been localized in certain circles or remained a private struggle but now it’s becoming a mainstream view. More and more people are embolden not only to question God in private but confront him in public. Many believe it’s time for the church to listen and learn. And since the world is just a click away many have undertaken this as their mission. To confront Biblical values of marriage, our society, leadership at home, in church and in the world. To teach God a lesson on gender, equality and justice.

They point fingers on how God has dealt with the problem of suffering and see him as a perpetrator. The God of love in the Bible is seen as a God of hatred and as a narcissistic being. The God of mercy as a God who is indifferent to the plight of many. The saving God as nothing more than an angry teenager that sends to hell those who disagree with him. A God who picks up on small problems like sin, the choice of consenting adults, and blows these issues beyond proportion. From the view of the world God needs to sit and learn, to evolve and move with the times.

The question before us is, is the world right? Is there something we’ve got wrong? Is it possible the all knowing God has missed something here. For many of us within Evangelical faith, defined in biblical sense, even my description here is nothing short of blasphemy. I trembled as I penned it down but I don’t think we can avoid what the world is saying. Perhaps privately we hold to this but we are not as bold to say it. Now to be clear I don’t think they are right but I think this helps us understand the people we are trying to reach with the Gospel. To see where they are coming from. To understand the problem for some of them is not just mere rebellion. These are not people who knowingly or unknowingly are just going against God’s Word for the sake of it. It’s more invested than that and many of them might believe we are the problem not them.

As I said I don’t think this is necessary new to our world. It goes back to Adam and Eve and the tower of Babel in Genesis. You see sin is not just rebellion against God’s word. It also sells the lie that we know better and that we, not God, have the best interest for us and the world around us. That we are not just right but that we are just and moral unlike the God of the Bible. Satan whispers to our ear that the problem is that God doesn’t want us to be like him. That he wants to spoil our freedom and hinder us from what’s truly best for us. And that he’s never there when we need him most. He wants us scattered while the best thing would be for us to stay in one place seeking what’s best for humanity. Building a society and a name for ourselves in this world.

4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11.

While our world is more bold in calling God names and trampling down on Christian values, this is still the trick of the old liar. Sin has come out in public demanding of us to follow it’s own religion and calling names on those who disobey it. It calls men to follow it with a promise to make their life better. But in truth it’s just another faith, another gospel, the religion of modern man. But still it’s the old devil in the details masquerading like the angel of light. And this religion is strong because our hearts are easily drawn to it. It’s actually natural to man to see what God calls good as bad and see the promises of sin as heaven on earth. This is the faith of the natural sinful man.

Sin turns upside down what the Word of God demands. It pokes holes on the attributes of God and questions his motives. It raises questions on the relevance of the Bible to a changing world. And preaches to us that God either doesn’t know better or doesn’t care as much. It’s the Serpent telling Eve that God is just mean and doesn’t want us to be invisible like him. But as it was in the garden and all through Bible history, sin never delivers what it promises. But even then it demands we settle with that lie simply because it looks tangible.

But has our world become better as we’ve moved away from Christian values? Have we now found an answer to the happy ever after question in sexual revolution? Has our crusade on gender and equality outside of God brought us to the promised land? There are those who believe this is the case. But in truth when you look around you realise that as we’ve moved further away from God and his values we’ve only become more confused and lost. We are like the prodigal child that leaves their home away from the Father only to return miserable and empty.

The truth of the matter is we cannot sow seeds of selfish pursuit and still have a better society. We cannot shove God away and expect to enjoy his world without him. We cannot call good evil and evil good without facing the judgement of a broken world. It’s asking for Genesis 3 all over again. Actually it’s a miracle that we haven’t descended into anarchy sooner. It’s an act of grace that our society still works. If we managed to kick God out of the picture completely we would soon see the horns of the lying devil we are following.

In truth what our world is truly craving is a world devoid of problems. We are looking to have heaven on earth but we don’t want God in it. We essentially want to be like God and choose to blame him for our own failures. It’s Eve and the old serpent all over again. And as the Adams of this world we tell God it’s you who made us this way. You are to blame not us. Your way is not good for us. Give us a chance to show you how things are done. Take a back seat and learn what true human values look like. But praise be to God that even when he allows us to kick him out still he stays close. Praise God that amidst this man made hell God is actively involved as God over all and especially through the work of the Gospel.

For those caught up in this, what you are truly looking for, a world without problems, true freedom and happiness is actually found in God through the Gospel. It’s the lie of the devil that says you can get it in the world or in believing and following your heart. You are still not free for in getting the world beneath your feet the devil asks you to bow before him. The world, the devil and sin cannot provide what they promise. They are like politicians in a general election. They’ll say anything to get in but once in you’ll be in their mercy.

Perhaps you are right there’s something wrong with our churches today but it’s not God who is wrong. It’s when our churches have not given you the full Gospel picture. When we have picked and chosen what to teach, what sin to condemn and what attribute of God to hammer down. The God of the Bible as we see when the Gospel is taught clearly is truly invested in your life. He’s not just the Judge but Saviour. He doesn’t condone one sin and judge another. His son was tempted like you are and through the cross brought into everlasting life. He couldn’t bow to the devil and the lies of the world even when they wanted to crown him king. He knew they had no real power to provide what they promised.

But what the world promises and can’t give God promises and has given. In the Gospel we see one who died for us. One who is carrying us to our eternal home. One who sympathises and helps us in our weaknesses for our own good. One who will truly give heaven to those who trust and walk with him. Choosing God won’t give you heaven here and now. It won’t fulfill your wild cravings or make your life easier. But you are far better off with him than in the world. You’ll get true eternal heavenly hope and help by his Word and Spirit in this life. True happiness is found in him not outside of him. What you are looking for is the salvation only he gives. And you finally behold his true face in the Gospel you’ll shout in his praise.

1 In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, Lord.

Although you were angry with me,

your anger has turned away

and you have comforted me.

2 Surely God is my salvation;

I will trust and not be afraid.

The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and

my defense;

he has become my salvation.”

3 With joy you will draw water

from the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12 NIV