Sin recovery is not returning to the sins that comforted us during difficult times in the past.
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Today’s Scripture Focus: Jonah 4:4-8
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number six of 12: “We are now ready for God to give us new characters that reflect that of His Son’s.”
Under what pretense do you shelter when the going gets tough?
Every one of us has suffered, to a greater or lesser degree, from addictions. Some may be addicted to the usual suspects – alcohol or drugs, while others are addicted to food, swearing, questionable entertainments, gossip, money loving or believing the hype about self. And the catchall category of addictions lest we become proud and say we’ve never had a problem with anything on my list, is sin. All have had to struggle against sin, even the noblest among us.
When Sin is Your Coping Mechanism
Think about God’s prophet, Jonah. The Lord gave him one simple set of instructions, and he lost his mind. God instructed him to go to one place, to teach one message, to one group of people, for one particular purpose. Like the rest of us with a bent towards sinning, Jonah did the exact opposite. Jonah went to another place, did not deliver the message to the people, and ignored God’s purpose during the whole ordeal. And when God checked him on it (understatement of the year), Jonah reluctantly obeyed but threw a hissy fit.
Do you get upset when God starts tugging at your addictions? When people post messages on social media that challenge your commitment to God, how do you receive it? When trials come that could have been avoided if you simply did what God said, how do you respond? When you realize you have been driving your spiritual bus the wrong direction on the road of life, do you press the brakes or keep barreling down the road? When you face challenges, do you search feverishly for a way to engage in the thing that displeases God, but makes you feel relaxed when you’re stressed?
God’s Checking Brings Holy Correction
Jonah demonstrates what not to do in this situation! He hides and bellyaches about how he figured God embarrassed him. He sheltered beneath the pretense of knowing how God would have handled his situation as justification for disobeying God.
I am going to give some free advice today, which I pray I receive too: never allow yourself to fall back on your sinful vice or indict God when the going gets tough. Recognize the situation for what it is—a wake-up call to help you reroute into the right direction. God is too loving and wise to let us go about our business unchecked. If we respond favorably to the momentary crises, God will show mercy and supply the need for which we had aimlessly sought when we rushed back into the arms of sin for comfort.