stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

We’re finishing up our Surrender series by Francis Chan this Sunday.  The topics that have been covered have been Surrender Stuff, Surrender Status, Surrender Sin, and this Sunday will be Surrender Self.  It’s so nicely alliterated.  I recommend it solely based on that (and the teaching really has been good, too).  After each video, there is time for group discussion.  After watching the video on surrendering sin, I got up to discuss, but it took a more teachy approach (not that I’m putting that down, because I think it worked).

One thing I talked about is that I’ve personally noticed how difficult it is to quit sinning, especially when you grow accustom to your sin.  You can even get to a point of disgust with it, but you can fool yourself into continuing indefinitely with one simple thought: “Okay, I swear this is the last time.”  How many times have you told yourself right before sinning that this will be the last time?  In comparison, how many times has it turned out to truly be the last time?  We allow ourselves to sin, and when the next opportunity comes up, we often tell ourselves the same lie again, and we tend to fall for it again and again.  This is the last time.

It’s kind of a crazy if you think about it.  Why do you think about making this the last time?  Probably because the Holy Spirit is convicting you, shouting to you, “NO!  Don’t do that again!”  So you tell yourself (and Him) that it’s okay, this will be the last time.  What you’re really saying is, “Please be quiet.  I want to sin.”  You blow off the Holy Spirit’s convicting you, and you proceed.  I know how this goes.  I’ve been through this.  But then I felt the conviction turned up a notch when I said, “This will be the last time,” once.  Because I felt like God’s response was, “No, let last time be the last time.”

That’s now what I tell myself when I am tempted to sin.  It’s not a fool proof method, because I am strongly a fool, and I fail, but it works a lot more often than giving myself one last sinful hurrah after one last sinful hurrah.

So do you struggle with lusty sins?  Stealing?  Cheating on tests?  Whatever it is that you struggle with, let the last time be the last time.

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