Would you rather be slave to sin or to righteousness? Do you know the difference? In Romans 6:16 Paul describes how we can offer ourselves to someone to obey them and we can be slaves of sin or righteousness…slaves to Satan or Jesus. Can we be obedient to two masters? Would you rather be a slave to Satan who makes promises he cannot deliver or to Jesus who provides freedom and eternal life? Romans 6:23 tells us for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ. Think of wages that we work to earn. Every day we go to work and are slaves to the corporate world or the government and at the end of our lives we cash in our wages for death. Jesus offers us a a life of righteousness and at the end eternal life. Nothing in return from us.
Satan’s greatest pleasure is to rip us away from Christ and to isolate us and weaken our spirits. The perfect time for Satan to attack is when we are in the middle of a storm in our lives or when we are alone and tired. Sin attacks by deceiving us, entangling us, and then throws us into slavery. This beast comes and steels the joy from our life and catches us off guard. 1 Peter 5:8: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
One of the easiest ways that sin creeps into our lives is first by desensitizing us. Something that used to bother us, no longer does, and we begin to justify that it’s okay. A flirting co-worker, an inappropriate commercial or show on television, or a gossiping friend. Our values are subtly targeted until it no longer phases us or seems wrong. You toss out the bad reasons you shouldn’t be allowing this sin in your life and make reasons why it is good and reasons to allow it. We also justify that little sins are no big deal. As children, we know cussing is bad and we hear a friend say a cuss word and it makes us sick to our stomachs. But then we find ourselves trying it and eventually we speak them regularly. You accept a compliment from a married co-worker and then find yourself sharing more and more with them, then lunch, then dinner, and subtle touches here and there, and then crossing boundaries into infidelity. C.S. Lewis said “the safest road to hell is the gradual one.”
God hardwired it into our brains to want relationships but at the same time he gives us free will as to what relationships we establish and keep. His desire is for us to be addicted to Him and worshiping Him and His word but that’s not the case with human nature. Instead, we become addicted to video games, alcohol, drugs, sex, and people. Our brains release dopamine that gives us the feeling of pleasure and we become addicted to the substance or action that creates this release. In physical interactions, it may start with flirting, then hand holding, kissing, and eventually sex. All sin is addictive and addictions are like bondage and slavery. These addictions become your master. However, once you stop satisfying these cravings then the addiction stops. The first step is to stop the action. Identify you have a problem, stop it, and focus on your walk with God. Don’t let sin overpower you and change your values. Don’t think that your will power alone can overcome your addiction. You are setting yourself up for disaster. The will power runs out and you have to feed it again and you lose the fight and have to start over. Satan wants you to give in to the addiction and stop fighting and that’s what a lot of people do. Most of us have a fear that leads to our addictions. We may have a fear of being unhappy so we take drugs to get a high. We fear being alone so we become addicted to people and personal connections and attention. We may fear failure so we seek recognition and success and work non-stop. Satan reigns here in our addictions. We lose track of family, friends, and faith. Or we take the ride of life in neutral and don’t take a stand against sin and simply coast through life.
Remember, Satan wants to take our joy and our eternal life. If we lose track of God then Satan is winning. Take your stand against sin and addictions. John 10:10 reminds us that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”