By Pastor Jarren Rogers
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
– Stephen Covey
There is a story that my parents tell from when my brother and I were little. One day, my brother, Trent, got really mad at me. As a result of his anger, Trent put the back of His hand in His mouth and bit down just hard enough for red indentations to crop up. He then ran to my mom
“Jarren bit me!” he pleaded with Mom, presenting the already fading bite mark. My mom grabbed his wrist and inspected the wound very carefully. “You’re lying,” she said simply. He said, “What! No, I’m not! You can see the mark right there.”
“Yes. But your brother has a gap in between his front teeth. This bite mark does not.”
And the jig was up.
Trent blamed me for something I didn’t do that day as many kids do, and I am sure that I did the same thing to him at one time or another. But, I believe that we sometimes do the very same thing when it comes to our spiritual life.
When we fall short, when we sin, when we slip away from Christ, we too often are quick to blame it on our circumstances.
We think that our sin is a result of someone else’s actions toward us. We think that it is because of our financial situation or our family situation that we just aren’t spending time with God like we should. We say that it is the busyness and the stress of work that keeps us out of church. We say that its because the Enemy tempts us day in and day out that we just can’t get ahead.
But the fact of the matter is that our circumstances do not rule us, people do not rule us, the Enemy does not rule us. Ultimately, we have the power to say yes or no to sin. This is a power that God has given us.
Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, by the power of the cross, we no longer have to be ruled by our circumstances. Our situations and surroundings do not have to bind us to sin. But instead, with God’s help and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to say no sin and yes to Him.
If you want to experience change in your spiritual life, you have to make a choice for Christ and a choice against sin. Let your situations and circumstances rule you no longer, instead let yourself be ruled by Christ. You do not have to be bound by the people and circumstances you find yourself immersed in. Instead, pray that God’s Spirit would fill you and enable you to move away from sin and closer to Him.
It is in those critical moments when temptations lay heavily on us. When sin looks so attractive and is so close and so easy, that we must choose to hold fast to Christ.
Every temptation. Every encounter. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. You have the power to choose: Sin or Christ.