A Tale of a Tangled Life

It sparkled and glistened behind the counter catching my eye; I stepped up and asked the salesclerk if I could try it on. But while inspecting the beautiful chain, I realized the clasp would not open because of a knot. The salesclerk was also unable to untangle it preventing me from seeing it around my neck. There have been times in my life when I have worked to disentangle something only for it to grow more entangled.

I will never . . .

I will never . . .

I will never . . .  Have you made that promise to yourself or to someone else only to find that you have become that person you said you would never be, or you did what you said you would never do?

“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us . . .”

Hebrews 12:1b, NASB

Sin entangles. And when we try methods apart from the word of God, we can find ourselves even more ensnared.

“Some of you will object to my saying this, but it is my opinion that in Christianity we have over-emphasized the psychology of the lost sinner’s condition. We spend time describing the sinner’s woes and the great burden he carries until we almost forget the principal fact that the sinner is actually a rebel against properly constituted authority! That is what makes sin SIN! We are rebels, we are sons of disobedience. Sin is the breaking of the Law and we are fugitives from the just laws of God while we are sinners. We are fugitives from divine judgment. But thankfully, the plan of salvation reverses that, and restores the original relationship [like Adam and Eve in the garden before sin], so that the first thing the returning sinner does is confess: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants!’ Thus, in repentance, we reverse that relationship and we fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God, as obedient children!”    

To Sin is to Rebel, A.W. Tozer

When we find our Savior, by trusting alone in the eternal work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, our sins are washed away but training camp must begin! We begin training thoughts and attitudes that have taken a beating from our disposition to sin as well as being sinned against and living in a broken world. And as the Spirit of God teaches us, we learn to live as obedient children fully submitting to the Word of God and the Will of God.

We are surrounded by a whole host of witnesses whether children, grandchildren, neighbors, or strangers, watching our lives.

The Bible tells us of other bystanders who have gone before us and lived earning a good reputation because of their faith yet not receiving all God had promised. They lived out their lives in faith that what He had promised would be realized in death (Hebrews 11-12). Many of them learned how easy it is to become entangled in sin or get distracted by some worthless matter. They are our examples. For me, I find no better (or worse) example of this than Samson. At that time in history, He was God’s chosen man to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:1-5). The Bible tells us that God blessed Samson (13:24). But Samson chose to live a very self-centered life distracted by worthless matters and then becoming so entangled he was captured, and his eyes gouged out (Judges 16:21). With all of Samson’s strength yet he failed to train his eyes or his thoughts and never reached his potential. In the end, Samson prayed to God “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes” (Judges 16:28, NLT).  He prayed for God to return his strength one last time so he could finally be God’s instrument. Samson, along with many others, are our examples of training for this life as we reflect on how they lived. So let us follow the good examples, avoiding the mistakes, and remove things that could easily trip us up or cause us to sin (Hebrews 11:32-12:1).

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Cleanser. He is the Purifier, the Healer. He is the Sight-giver and the Life-giver. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life!” 

A. W. Tozer [John 14:6]

Will you not enter His training camp today?


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