Some people think they are doing right, but in the end it leads to death. —Proverbs 14:12 (NCV)
I read a story of a man who was being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call the police, he grabbed a hot dog from the market counter, shoved it in his mouth—and walked away without paying for it. The clerk called the police, who upon arrival, found the man who had stolen the hot dog laying dead in front of the market—he had choked on the six-inch hot dog. Another story I read reported the sad tale of a man who was killed instantly when a deer fell from an overhanging rock above him. The man, unfortunately, had shot the deer from below.
Stories like these remind me that it is we—you and I—who are most responsible for the majority of troubles we find ourselves in. I know almost everyday, I wish I had a few “do-overs.” Don’t you? Maybe you’ve said something to someone that you wish you could take back. Perhaps you didn’t follow through on something you promised to someone else. Sometimes the troubles we get ourselves into are just part of being human and no big deal. But, at other times, our troubles are directly related to the problem of sin.
The bottom line of sin is when we live our lives as if God doesn’t matter. We may never say those exact words, but so often by the way we live our lives, we might as well shout, “God doesn’t matter!” from the rooftops. Whenever we live life on our terms, we cement another brick in a wall that separates us from having an intimate, vital relationship with God. The momentary pleasures we find in making our own choices, leave us empty. And, eventually we end up saying to ourselves, “How did I get myself into this mess?”
In order to break down the wall and reconnect with God, we’ve got to face up to the fact that we need Him—and without yielding control of our lives to Him—our lives will never be as complete and satisfying as He’s designed them to be. When we come to the point where we can truthfully admit to God, “I know I have fallen short of what you want for my life and I need you to help with the mess I’ve created,” it’s then that we start down the path to living a great life.
1. Identify any areas of your life where you tend to ignore God and live on your own terms.
2. Confess those shortcomings to God and commit to giving Him control of all the areas of your life.