14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
James 1:14-15 (ESV)
James 1:14-15 (ESV)
What moves us to sin?
We often think of sins in simple terms. If I just stop doing this, I will not sin. If I just move away, I can avoid that.
However, this can be like pulling weeds. Any gardener or farmer knows that pulling the tops off of weeds does not solve the problem!
Sin can be very much the same. It is not merely the outward practice of sin that solves the problem - it is often the "root sin" or underlying sin in our hearts that will once again rear its ugly head if we don't deal with it.
The first step is salvation through Jesus Christ. He must regenerate our hearts through the new birth! However, after that we must still rule over sin day by day. This means overpowering sin through God's Word and the Holy Spirit. For the Christian, this often starts with identifying the real sin beneath the above ground sin.
For example, bitterness may be the underlying cause of certain addictions. We can open the doors to some sins by companionship with the wrong people. Anger toward a brother or sister might be causing emotions that will lead to other sins.
Sins of omission, such as neglecting the Word of God, prayer or fellowship can lead to sin. Wrong attitude leads to sin. First the underlying sin must be dealt with in order to gain dominance over the outward sin!
Did you know that an airplane has an attitude as well as an altitude? The altitude is the height of the plane. The attitude is the front to back tilt of the plane. It should be flying straight. If it is pointing too far downward or upward, it can lean to a severe crash!
The pilot does not know the tilt of his aircraft without his instrument panel.
The Word of God is our instrument panel to lead us correctly in the everlasting way!
David prayed that God would reveal his secret sins:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalms 139:23-24 (NKJV)
We should ask God regularly to show us what underlying sins may be the causes of our outward sins!