Friday, August 14, 2015

Never the Same Again

     Recently, I heard a song at church that was originally recorded by Sandi Patty, and it brought back a lot of memories of her meteoric rise in the Christian music world.  Her voice was outstanding and her ability to hit the high notes was amazing.  However, along the road in her very successful career as a Christian singer, she hit a stumbling block in her personal life that derailed all she had accomplished for a number of years.  She had an affair which led to a messy divorce.  She and her husband had four children, and the break up shook the Christian world at the time.  Obviously, it was devastating to Sandi Patty as well.  She disappeared from the Christian music scene for a number of years.  She has remarried and has again resumed singing around the country.  Yet, something is different now, and things will really never be the same.
     When we fall into temptation that leads us to sin, we are never the same.  We know this by looking at the account in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve went from being in perfect communion with God to a separation both from His continuous fellowship as well as from the perfect environment in which they lived (Genesis 3).  While God gave them a glimpse of one who would come to set them free from this fallen, sinful state and crush the serpent's head, they still had to live with the consequences of their action.
     Consider as well what happened to King David.  He was blessed by God and it was said in the Bible that he was a man after God's own heart (I Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).  Yet David fell into sin with Bathsheba who was another man's wife.  It led to the murder of her husband to cover his tracks but God saw it all and uncovered the sin.  David's life was never the same.  God clearly told him that the sword would never depart from his house (2 Samuel 12:10).  Indeed, David's own son Absalom would turn against him and try to kill him for the kingdom.
London Bridge...We must remember that if we cross over into
sin we will never be the same again.
     Then, there was Sampson.  He was a servant and judge mightily used by God.  However, Sampson could not avoid sinning against the Lord by loving pagan women.  It ultimately was his downfall.  He paid dearly by being blinded at the hands of his enemies.  While he had the final victory over the Phillistines, it resulted in his own life being forfeited.
     Over and over, the Bible demonstrates that there are consequences of sin.  It may be pleasurable for a season, even exciting, but in the end, we are left with scars that always remind us of what could have been but never will be because of a choice we made.  Think of all the pastors that through the years have fallen into sin and forced to leave the ministry.  Yes, God does forgive when we repent and it is possible to be restored.  However, the pinnacle from which they fell will never be the same.
     This is why it is critical to be a people of the Word.  Reading it, eating it, and living it daily keep us on the path when temptation comes knocking on our door as it surely will.  Only as we transform our minds by renewing them daily both by prayer and Bible study can we keep the enemy of our souls at bay.
     Sin and its consequences change us forever.  We are never looked at the same way even though we are forgiven when we confess our sins.  I think our culture and even many Christians take much too lightly the terrible effect of sin.  It does not just touch our life but also hurts the lives of family, friends and co-workers.  Today, we need to keep our eyes on those things which please God.  If we are dedicated to serving Him, we will be less likely to fall into temptations.  Remember that "today, is the day of salvation".  We can turn away from sin before going down the path of no return.  Sin is only pleasant for a season but God offers the only joy that lasts forever.  Selah!

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