We are not slaves to unrighteousness. God has set us free by His grace and love. Psalm 129:4 says, But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Through our freedom found only through God’s perfect plan, we are no longer tied to sin. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but through God’s power and grace we have the tools to be free from the damaging power of sin in our lives. Trusting and relying on God’s strength through the Holy Spirit is all we need to conquer sin.
God’s name symbolizes His nature and His character. In Psalm 99:3 it says, Let them praise your great and awesome name – He is holy. His holiness and His reputation as the one and perfect God is what His name is supposed to symbolize. If we are blessed enough to call Him Father, then let us live worthy of the Family name.
In today’s reading, it is interesting to see David’s request of God in Psalm 19:13, Keep your servant also from willful sin; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. We all sin, it is part of our nature, but willful sin require premeditation and a decision to sin. David asks God to keep him from willfully choosing sin. We must do the same. We will never be perfect in this lifetime, but we have the ability to control what we choose to do in order to glorify God. By God’s grace we are holy in His eyes because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ regardless of the sin in our lives.
If we want to be wise, we must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the unwise. The same thing goes for righteousness; if we want to be righteous, then we must avoid being influenced by those who do not see anything wrong with the sin in their lives. The very first verse in book of Psalm says: (Psalm 1:1) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. Blessed are those of us who can avoid the influence of people who do not add value to our spiritual lives, which in turn affect our lives as a whole.
It is hard to be on the “go” all the time. We all want to be able to coast every once in a while. But resting for too long can be detrimental to your future. God calls us to be diligent in all we do. Proverbs 24:33-34 says, A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of hands to rest – 34 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. If we take it easy for too long, it will ultimately cost us everything.
In the same vein, if we feel it is OK to cut corners, instead of doing what is right all the time, it will eventually cause us to accept mediocrity in all we do. Stay diligent and continuously look to the Holy Spirit for leading and guidance.
While I do not have issues with drinking alcoholic beverages, it should not be consumed as a means of controlling our behavior. Proverbs 20:1 says: Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Anything you allow in your life to control you is bad, no matter what it is. The only thing we can ever allow in our lives to control us is the Holy Spirit, who will never lead us down the wrong path.
One of my biggest struggles in life deals with anger. While 99% of the time I am“happy-go-lucky”, when the wrong buttons get pushed, I become a different person and it is hard for me to get over it and move on. To make matters worse, even though I know “sleeping on it” is not productive, it becomes a vicious cycle and is hard for me to just let it go. Paul addresses this in Ephesians 4:26-27, 26 In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. I have learned over the years that even in a heated state it is better to talk things out than to simply walk away. The truth is the longer we hold onto pain that causes anger, the more likely we are to act in a sinful way. Anger is not sinful in and of itself, but the way we respond to anger can be. God never leaves us alone to deal with our own emotions. If we let Him in to help us, we can deal with it in a healthy and productive way.
Doing the right thing is sometimes hard. We all know right from wrong, but sometimes, for various reasons, doing the wrong thing is just easier. In Romans 7:15 even Paul says, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Without the Holy Spirit working in us, sometimes it is nearly impossible to force ourselves to do the right thing. But through obedience and trust, the Holy Spirit works in us to do the right thing.
As believers we recognize God has given each of us unique gifts to be used for His glory. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Paul says, 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. While each of us may have different gifts, God is the same. The Holy Spirit works with each of our unique gifts to work together for God’s ultimate glory.
Much like our current culture, morality in the Roman Empire was very low. Paul recognized that perfection is impossible, but striving to be holy is not. In 1 Thessalonians 4:7 Paul says, For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Allowing sin to run unabated in our lives leads to harsh consequences; physically, emotionally, and Spiritually. Only through trusting in God and leading of the Holy Spirit can we combat the desire for sin in our lives.