Diverting The Deadly Progression of Sin
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. — 1 Timothy 6:9-10
I have said this a few times. But Ephesus was a city with a high percentage of wealthy people. So as Paul brings his letter to a close, he gives Timothy some wisdom on issues that rich people might encounter that Timothy will have to watch out for. Here he states three progressive pitfalls that rich people fall into. First, they fixate on an object. Second, they get entangled in the desire for this object. Third, they get trapped by this desire and are destroyed by it. What’s fascinating about this is this is that this is not only true with wealth. It’s a trap with anything we overdo. It’s true with eating, social platforms, news media, success, material items, sports, and fitness. Mankind can take a good object or a good thing and get sucked in by the desire for it and then be trapped in sin.
But this issue stems from inside of a man. It’s an issue with our desires. We have an unhealthy craving for more. Our desires lure us in with an object or an idea. And while the object or idea might be good, it’s our private cravings that are bad. They lure in the unsuspecting.
This is where we must attack the issue before the issue becomes an issue. We have to get more honest with ourselves about the desires we have. And we need to play the tape forward when these rise in us. We need to look forward to the result of the desire. We should be attentive to that we covet and kill the harmful desires before we get entangled in deep destruction. Which, by the way, is precisely what Paul is doing with Timothy here. He is teaching him how to notice the issue before the issue becomes an issue in the church.
The best part about this is that believers have the power to avert the snare of this progressive process. The Spirit, if we allow it, will convict and redirect in every desire. And if we get more honest with ourselves and become more sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, we can turn these desires before they become sin or even perpetual sin. And guess what? God is doing this inside of us. This is the battle no one ever sees and the victory many followers fail to enjoy. It’s the personal conviction of the Spirit, killing the desires of sin in a man for God’s Glory. And once you experience it, there is nothing like it because it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with God's victory over your desires.
So get out there today and live in this victory. Crave the Spirit and nothing else, and you will not get dragged away from the faith with many pangs.
ASK THIS: What desire do you need to address? If you don’t know right now, think more about it.
DO THIS: Kill that desire before it kills you.
PRAY THIS: God, may the Spirit you have given me be strong in me and convict me of sin before I sin.
PLAY THIS: On Christ, the Solid Rock I Stand.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.