Okay, so the pastor in church yesterday told us a story. It was about how his beautiful little son just loves the zoo. How he, at four years old loves to get close to anything and everything that is animal. So they went. And the were over near the six-foot Komodo Dragon that had just eaten it’s dinner. He described how there were still pieces of bone attached to the flesh of the dinner the dragon had just devoured. And how, in all their wisdom, the zoo people had not only a railing around this dragon, but also a very tall, glass enclosure. In my view as a mom, glass enclosure + little kids = smart.
So the pastor’s cute little son just really wants to get up close to it and try to touch with it. He climbs, you guessed it, just inside the railing. Close enough to “play” with it and yet outside the glass enclosure where it can’t touch him. Nanny, nanny, you can’t catch me. And the dragon, wanting to do , well something with him, came over and stood up on the glass and began to move with the little boy… it looked almost like they were dancing against the glass together. I hear there’s a video…
And then they went home. And the little boy freaked out because there was a butterfly buzzing around him. And He ran to his daddy to keep him safe.
Pastor’s sermon was actually about a different point. But this is what I got.
We love to play with our butterflies. You know, the sin in our life that we think isn’t such a big deal. Or that little thought that makes us feel good – like we have a great little secret that only we have. We like to get up close and personal with it. After all, it makes us feel really good, right.
And pretty soon, that butterfly gets bigger and bigger. the thought or secret becomes more and more important. It starts to invade our every thought and waking moment. It dances with us, so to speak. And no, we couldn’t act on that, could we? But we do.
So what started out as a harmless little thought, became a great big thought that danced it’s way into becoming a sin. And now you might say, “So what.” But let me show you what the Bible tells us about our little harmless sin…
“Desire, when it is conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death”. James 1:15
And we all know the weight and guilt of shame. When it was this cute little thought that we were toying with, it was fun and exciting. And then when we acted on it, we were guilty and shameful and it weighed our very lives down. It stops us in our tracks and more importantly stops us from doing the work God has set out for us to do.
Seriously. We need to stop playing footsie with our thought life and allowing it to turn into sin!
“If anyone would feel the greatness of sin he would not be able to go on living another moment; so great is the power of sin.” – Martin Luther
This is why the Bible tells us, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:5-6
Thoughts and day dreams and lofty speculations. Day dreaming in an inappropriate manner. These things have to be stopped when they start! At the very beginning. When it looks harmless and beautiful, just like the little butterfly. No playing with the misleading little butterfly! For it turns into the dementor, the life-sucking huge sin it really is if we allow it.
It’s really a great thing that we are saved by grace. NOTHING we can do ourselves will save us. But Jesus dying for us and being resurrected did it all. Just God’s marvelous grace. If you don’t understand salvation by grace alone, you’ll keep trying to save yourself – and you’ll fail.
But God. There’s always a But God. In God’s amazing wisdom, far better than even the zoo keepers, He know us. He made us justified in Him through Jesus’. And because we are justified when we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior (did you get that, Savior) we are good with God. Isn’t that what’s most important? And continuing on with God, we become more and more like our Savior Jesus.
So today, whatever that little thing you’re playing with is, you’ve got to hold that thought captive the very second it enters into your head. Make it a practice, make it an every time thing. And ask God to show you at the beginning of the thought. I know we get into patterns of thoughts that we’ve had for a very long time. And it’s time to break out of those patterns and take your mind back from the enemy. It’s time to stop playing footsie with our sin. We can to it together, today.