Hating sin doesn’t mean that we don’t get to do what we want to do; it means that we check with the Spirit to make sure what we want to do is safe.
15 The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
The definition of sin: To miss the mark. In archery, it means to miss the target. Spiritually, it means to deviate from the path God has for us. We not only miss His mark of godliness (being like Him), we don’t even AIM for His target! We see something shiny and sparkly and we go for it, much like a fish goes after a lure–which is exactly what happens to us!
James described our plight like this:
“…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire had conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word [the words of Jesus] planted in you [by the Spirit through the apostles], which can save you.” James 1:21
Here’s the problem: We like our sin. We prefer to do things our way, when we want to do them. The catch is that we cannot discern what hurts us and what doesn’t. Satan lays traps for us according to our desires–and he knows us well. He really only has three tricks in his bag, but they are all he needs! John tells us what they are:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16
Every sin falls into one of these three categories. If we read today’s Proverbs chapter with the idea of having to check with the Spirit before anything we do, we find that the principle of checking with the Spirit applies for EVERY VERSE! For instance:
25 The righteous [those who check with the Holy Spirit regularly] choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked [those who follow their own path] leads them astray [get ensnared by Satan’s traps].
What we must do is learn to hate our sin. It destroys us. God wants the BEST for us. That’s why He went to so much trouble to get inside us. His Spirit inside us will change the way we think if we will apply certain principles:
1. Study His Word.
“Study to show yourself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed, correctly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasant and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
“…to make her holy, cleansing her [the church–US!] by washing with the water through the word, 27 to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:26-27
2. We identify anything and everything that deviates from what the Holy Spirit tells us–and ignorance is NO EXCUSE! In fact, it should be our motivation to study more, deeper and harder than ever!
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
“…the Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13a
3. Remember that our relationship with sin has changed since we received Christ into our lives. It no longer separates us from God; instead, it becomes the tool in the Father’s hand to teach us how to be righteous and godly.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Let’s love God today and hate anything that stands in our way–even our own desires. Jesus put it like this:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate…[anything or anyone who comes between him and Jesus]–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross [die to self] and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 26-27
We are in it for the long haul, so don’t get discouraged. We must first become aware of these things that cause us to stray before we can work on them. The Holy Spirit will call them to our attention and then teach us and empower us to have ultimate victory. He promised! John 16:33, Romans 7:25, 37