God gives grace to cover our sin, but He doesn’t necessarily shield us from its damage. Where’s the lesson in that?
Proverbs 7:7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.
When the Holy Spirit calls to our attention something He wants us to do or avoid, we sometimes don’t recognize His voice because it sounds like our own. We need to know the things God would say in order to discern what He is saying to us. Our familiarity with what God has already said coupled with our new nature gives the Spirit handles with which to work in our lives. The more handles (Scripture that we know, experiences we have had), the easier it is to distinguish His voice from our own or the myriad others around us.
This chapter is about sexual sin. DESIRE has been awakened in all of us; it is a terrible taskmaster, for the more we feed it, the more it wants. What this means is that we have an addictive nature. We must therefore guard ourselves against even the prospect of sexual sin. Know the rules! What does God say about sex? Just understand that we can no longer rely on culture to give us godly morals. In fact, we could argue that whatever the world is doing, it’s probably wrong.
Where does this quandary leave us? Back at the Word of God, back at church among godly examples, teaching and preaching, and strong worship, back at a called-out life with new friends and new habits and new pastimes, back at strong families (if you don’t have one, make one!).
It’s not forever. Soon, Christ will come or call us home. We can make it until then with God’s help and each other.
Let’s heed James’s warning today:
James 4:4-6 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely [He jealously loves us and He knows our sin is destroying us]? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”