Why Is the Pull of Sin So Strong?
A few years ago, I was leading a high-school Bible study group, and one night several of the students started getting honest about hidden sins. They expressed two things: sincere brokenness and complete frustration. They were broken over their sin, but angry with themselves that they didn’t seem to be able to get victory over it. They pressed me for an answer to why... why was the pull of sin so strong, so powerful? Why did they keep returning to destructive addictions?
The short answer is... worship. We worship what we love. We crave what we love. We fill our lives with what we love. We submit to what we love. It’s when we love our sin more than we love God that we return to familiar—even addictive—sins.
If you want to know where your heart is—what you really love—consider what your time, energy, thoughts, and finances are most devoted to. When we love God more than we love self, it will show up in how we live moment by moment.
Loving God involves:
Getting better acquainted with Him
Paul expresses his desire to know Christ more intimately in Philippians 3. This warrior for the faith, prisoner of Christ, apostle and martyr—at the end of his life is still crying out with the heart of a new lover: “I want to know Christ!” He never grew tired of getting better acquainted with his Savior. We can do the same by studying God’s Word.
Learning His ways
The more we learn about how God operates, the more our love and appreciation for Him will grow. Every page of Scripture allows us to see His ways. When we soak in the reality of what was done at the cross—it gives us a greater understanding of His heart. Observing His grace, love, mercy, holiness, and faithfulness throughout history allows us to learn His ways and love Him more.
Listening to His instructions
Communication is the only way to get better acquainted with someone—whether it’s written or verbal—it’s necessary for building any relationship. Thankfully, our God is not silent. He’s provided a treasure trove of communication for us through His inspired Word. He’s given us instructions to hear and obey. As we listen to His directives, we know Him more, and knowing Him increases our love for Him.
Jesus made it pretty clear that love for God is demonstrated through obedience to Him. Some may shout “Legalism!” when you’re making tough choices, but if you are truly committed to obeying Scripture (not personal preference or traditions of men), then you are walking in love, not legalism.
Which of these areas do you hope to grow in as you worship Him today?