September 11, 2011

How to stop being buddies with sins

In the last article, I had some illustrations to show we can stop being buddies with sin. We need to be tenacious in kicking sin out and it has to be sustained. We have to match force with sustained resistance. We must continually resist the devil and refuse to gratify the desires of the flesh.

In this article, I would like to share one of the ways we can stop encouraging the devil to run our lives.

We should have sustained prayerful lives
Prayer is a two-way communication with God whereby we pour out our hearts – needs, desires, fears, queries – while God shows us his ways and deeds. It is an avenue for God to rub off himself on and in us. If we are consistent, he reproduces his character in us and over time we can become his splitting image. Prayer is never a hit and run process. It is not meant to be occasional or to be undertaken only when we are in need. So when we are consistent in prayer, the devil loses his hold; we focus on pleasing God and as we continue to focus on God, righteousness becomes a lifestyle.

I have shuttled between prayerlessness and prayerfulness; and so I know the difference. When I am prayerless over a period, I begin to pick up sinful habits that I had conquered. This is compounded when I am in the midst of people that encourage such sinful habits.

However, one thing I noticed in this shuttle between prayerlessness and prayerfulness is that God did not abandon me. He would always nudge me back to him. I can’t help but to wonder if it is because of some prayers I had prayed early in life.

I remember way back in 2003, I prayed, “Oh Lord, please do not let my conscience be seared. Let me be tied unto you like the belt of man is tied unto his waist”

Sadly, I have been on this shuttle several times over the years; the inconsistency has done me no good. It affects the spiritual temperature leaving one lukewarm which God detests and provides a loophole for the devil to creep in gradually and if the lukewarmness continues, the devil strategizes to make one his abode.

When I am in the prayerful zone, I am safe, swimming in the ocean of righteousness; feeling like a conqueror and I testify of God’s goodness freely.

When I am in the prayerless zone, I am like a house infested with all sorts of insects. I know I ought to get rid of them but I continue to encourage their presence and at some point I begin to think I can leave with them as long as they are not visible to visitors. It is also difficult to testify of God freely without being overwhelmed by guilt. In addition, there is a voice that is quick to remind me of my sins.

A skin infection starts on one spot and spreads all over the skin. A small fire at one end of the forest can raze the whole forest. A crack in a dam can lead to flooding in a city destroying infrastructure and taking lives.

 I choose to think of prayerlessness as a sin – a small unrecognizable sin that initiates more and bigger sins. It is an un-ceremonial and unacknowledged invitation to the devil to take charge of our lives and destroy us. The devil will take charge without us remembering when we handed the driver’s seat to him. If we leave him long enough, he will cause such havoc with terrible consequences.

If we want Jesus to be continually in the driver’s seat; live a righteous life and be above principalities and powers, then we must be prayerful.

If we want God to reproduce his character in us; then we must be prayerful.

We must make prayer part of our lifestyle; we must delight in communicating with God continually. Only then can we overcome and stop being buddies with sin.

Image by Coral Coolahan @ dreamstime


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