Defend Me From Sin!
“Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.” – Psalm 141:4
What do you do when you feel tempted or when others are tempting you to sin?
In the Lutheran Church, we talk a lot about forgiveness and grace. We need it because we all sin. However, what do we do in that time before we sin when we start to feel tempted?
Without Christ we are slaves to sin, addicted with no hope of sobriety. However, in Christ we are set free from sin. Yes, Jesus died to forgive our sins, but He also freed us from the chains of sin as well.
We Are Sinners and Saints
Yet, we still live in a broken and fallen world. Sin and evil are all around us every day. Our sinful nature still works against us. We’d love to say we are sickened by the very thought of sin, but the truth is we still remember the illusory sweet taste of sin. We crave it at times and can be drawn to it by the devil, the world, or our very own flesh. We are, at the same time, sinner and saint.
The Sweet Temptation of Sin
Do you remember the story of Samson? He was the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Israel. At one point (see Judges 14) Samson was walking down a path and a lion came upon him. He killed the lion and left it on the side of the path. A few days later Samson was returning on that same path and he came across the lion.
He saw that bees had settled in the carcass of the lion and there was honey. Now, think about the roadkill raccoons or cats we’ve all seen and multiply the grossness by 10.
What does Samson do?
He reached down into the dead and rotting carcass, scraped out the honey, and ate it.
Sin can be like this, reaching into things that are vile, disgusting, and filled with death all to get a taste of the sweetness of the sin our sinful nature is addicted to.
You Don’t Have to Eat the Honey
We don’t have to live like that anymore. Now, living in our freedom, we can delight in the good Law of the Lord. We can revile that which is evil by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, we pray, as the psalmist did, that we would not be drawn to what is evil, we would not see it as sweet and would not take part in it. We want to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
We won’t do this perfectly.
We will always struggle with temptation. However, when we fall, we also know we can turn to God then and confess our sins. He is merciful and will forgive and renew us. (I told you we Lutherans talk about God’s grace a lot.)
We are still saints, made pure by the blood of the Lamb.
Thank you for giving us a new nature. Please guard my heart. Don’t let me be tempted by what is vile, disgusting, and filled with death. Give me a holy revulsion for what is sinful and evil. And please forgive me for the times I have given into temptation.
In Christ’s Service,