Sin and the Stuff Around You

A Christian’s biggest problem is stuff.

By “stuff” I mean physical things. I know we’re told that Satan is our biggest enemy, but Satan has very little power unless he can use stuff to tempt us. View the temptation of Eve and the temptation of Christ, always dependent on stuff.

Even our own flesh generally gets us with stuff, what it makes our physical body do with physical things to fulfill its appetites.

You cannot serve God and mammon. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes out spiritual growth. The good soldier of Jesus Christ does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life. We set our affections on things above, not on things of this world. Put your treasure in heaven. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father.

I could go on.

When we think of sin, we typically think of doing external things. Drinking, smoking. over-eating, sexual perversion, abortion, voting Democrat, etc.

When the Bible speaks of sin, it will mention some of these external manifestations, but primarily it is concerned with your heart or mind. Rebirth is necessary, being made a new creation with the mind of Christ is what gives victory.

The Bible views sin as internal, merely exhibited by what you do externally with physical things.

But since we’re so physically minded, we even fight sin with external motivators. Fear of getting caught. Fear of physical punishment. The simple financial cost of sin. We shame people into obedience by using peer pressure and conformity, using external measures to control others. We fall for looking to government to legislate our morality, to clean things up externally by skipping the internal change necessary.

We are too physically minded. God is Spirit and we are to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

I’m not suggesting some sort of wigged out mysticism, floating in the clouds of subconscious nirvana. I’m just saying that we depend too heavily on physical results and attempted physical solutions rather than spiritual dependence.

It seems to me we lack a fundamental trust in the power of God’s Spirit to work in others, forcing us to give physical shortcuts. We don’t have the patience to let God work, so we throw in our “10 steps to freedom” books to solve all our ills. Much easier and quicker, but in the end, misses the point.

Christians struggle with sin and take falls quite frequently. Perhaps we’re missing something. Perhaps we’re missing the actual one thing that can help–God Himself.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” seems the logical proof text. Israel fills your Old Testament with seeking physical things and dividing over physical issues while maintaining a fake physical morality. It seems the Church is wandering the same way.

Behind life lies something deeper. Something detached by physical restraints. Something that is living, and powerful, and active, and ready to work. I just wonder if we can get our eyes of stuff long enough to look for what we cannot see.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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