Friday, November 25, 2011

the maddening toxicity of sin

What is poison?

Poison is anything with an inherent property to destroy life or impair health. Poison is harmful or pernicious as to one's happiness or well-being. Poison contaminates, pollutes, taints, retards, inhibits.

Simply put, what is poisonous to us will indeed kill us!

Yet... every day people choose to absorb poison. We choose to eat chemically laden foods. We choose to work too much and sleep too little. We choose toxic environments... toxic relationships... toxic lifestyles. We eat junk food, ingest chemicals, smoke cigarettes, avoid exercise, forget to breathe in fresh air, and fail to expose ourselves to nature and sunshine. We lock ourselves in little boxes and accomplish little things. And don't forget about our stress. We thrive to be stressed. In fact, we skillfully find more and more ways to stress about our stress. Yes, as a race, I think we are our own worst enemy. We are a community of addicts who invite in the cancer of destruction. We experience needless pain and misery all because we complicate our lives with the maddening toxicity of sin. Sin that corrupts and deadens us from living up to our full potential. Sin that poisons the health that God originally intended for us to enjoy.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." So, if we are persistent to pursue what is poisonous but still expect to live healthy... are we insane? Has our mental capacity been compromised? Is our judgement sound?

The truth is, humankind is indeed messed up. We are broken and damaged beings. As such, without assistance... without help... we are lethal to ourselves. This is why God's Word is so important. This is why Jesus' sacrifice and simple truths are the only solution - the only Way we can ever experience and know real freedom. The truth is, the blood of Jesus carries our only antidote from the poison of sin.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood. (Leviticus 17:11, KJV)

It's amazing how far away we can live from God, isn't it? He has given us everything necessary to know Him and live healthy, holy lives. Yet we continue to choose the poison of sin rather than the simplicity of His holiness. We allow toxicity to win out over and over and over. We continue to destroy ourselves - going our own way, doing our own thing, choosing ourselves instead of serving Him. And sadly, we still expect a different outcome/result - always forgetting that God is no respecter of persons. Forgetting that His absolute Word will hold true no matter who challenges it's validity.

The Bible says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6, NKJV) This could not be more true. Our antidote, Jesus, cannot heal our poisoned lives if we continue to impair ourselves by avoiding His Word. Rather, we will remain toxic and sick if we ignorantly believe we can somehow become close to a King whom we won't bow down to... whom we won't allow to reign in our lives.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6)

Satan is a venomous snake who wishes to keep us distracted from the biblical danger signs that our Redeemer has provided in order to warn us away from the poisonous trappings of sin. Stop believing the insanity of the devil and instead seek Jesus to rid the merry-go-round of the enemy's sickly ways.  Choose to follow the holiness of the one true King! For only God's Word is medicinal to our spirits... only Jesus is capable of strengthening the marrow of our bones!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:12-16)

Ladies, a new life has been offered by the King of kings. A new hope to know the Creator of the universe is detailed within the pages of sixty-six chapters of scripture. Without Him, we can never live up to our full potential. Without Him, we will never be healthy or know freedom from the maddening toxicity of sin. Without Him, we will die from poison.

Knowing this, what will you do next? 
How will you live today? 
Will you continue to ignore the King? 
Or will you consider the perfect advisement of the loving Savior? 
Will you continue consuming poison? 
Or will you choose to be healed by His holiness, His counsel, His rule? 

I encourage you to take your next step in the right direction - His new direction! 
Everyday, may we each live deliberately and bow down to His throne. 
Everyday, may we each know a healthier life in Jesus Christ while offering ourselves in worship to the Lord of all lords!

This is the day!


~Victoria Anderson