It’s not often one event that causes us to fall away or wander away from God, it’s a series of little seemingly insignificant details that eventually add up to create an overwhelming situation.
The thing about sin is that sometimes it begins very slowly. People are not always purely intentional in their “sinning”. It happens gradually, over time, slowly, the walls come down, the sin seeps in, the sin makes itself at home and then starts to permeate other areas of life too. There is a song by Casting Crowns called Slow Fade.. it talks about how nothing ever crumbles in a day.. it doesn’t just happen overnight for sin to slowly take root in our lives. It’s a good song. Check it out sometime.
I was living in a state of deliberate disobedience to God for a bit last year. I knew my behaviour was wrong and yet instead of praying for God to help me, I put up walls, shades, veils to hide behind. I created a faulty system of reasoning and justification and when that didn’t work, I just chose to ignore any sort of guilt or other spiritual prompting. The thing is, I can somewhat pinpoint the exact time that I was walking away from God. I can refer to a series of weeks/months as the “Veil Time” but I know deep down that it took me quite a while to get to those days.
I didn’t wake up one morning and think: “Forget it, I’m going to start disobeying God today…” No.. I can see now how many things contributed to my weakening as a Christian and then my reluctance to fight and remove sin from my life. I can trace it back to certain people I had met, was in constant contact with and loved, was jealous of… despite the fact they did not know God. I can see how I was blinded by their flashy lives and somewhat mesmerized by their laissez faire approach to life. They never seemed to feel guilty about anything! I can see how my desire for friends and to fit in stood as being more important than my desire to live and be known as a follower of Christ.I can see how my gradual disengaging with the church led to a total lack of spiritual accountability. Couldn’t be sitting in church hearing about how sin destroys us and how God calls us to obey Him when I had different plans for the afternoon. I can see how I suddenly got too busy to spend any significant time in the prayer in the mornings, how playing my praise music softly in the background was justified as being almost as good as real devotions. I began filling my heart up with insignificant things, began dreaming of a life that did not have much of a place for God, some but not much. I began giving my heart to people who would ultimately hurt it, trying to hide it from God. It all happened over a period of time.. a time stemming from a time when I had become confident enough in my faith that I let my guard down. A time that I was too busy to really stop and think about my life and the “footholds” I had left open to sin.
I write this now to remind myself that while now I feel like I am in a good place again, (God is good to me!) I need to be careful and continue to protect myself. I must not become lazy and complacent about my faith. I must not start taking shortcuts and I must be very careful about what I spend time justifying to myself. Life is a battle.. every day we are fighting in it and just because we are on the winning team, doesn’t mean we won’t get battered and bruised and banged up in it. But better to get banged up while serving God, than because for a while we were flirting with the other team. We need to pay attention to the little details in our lives, the little areas of weakness, the little things we let slide because those little things are what end up exposing us and causing the most destruction.
So I encourage you as I remind myself to live carefully.. be awake and see each day as another opportunity to fight the good fight!