The patriarch Augustine tells of his first encounter with this malady when as a child he stole pears from a neighbor’s orchard and became befuddled and asked himself; “Why in the world did I do that?” It is good that one asks the question. But not everyone who asks the question understands the depth of the predicament. When the concept of sin is abandoned in seeking solution to a problem there will be a collapse in dealing with the real issue.
The issue according to Scripture is “fleshly lusts which war against the soul”. I Peter 2:11 Fleshly lusts are any desires that are sought that will result in the contamination of our souls. I want to emphasize that all desires are NOT necessarily fleshly. It is sinful desires that will interfere with the peace of our souls. As Augustine puts it, “fleshly desires are the orientation of the human will towards its own gratification.” And can be summed up by the scriptural text; “…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” in I John 2:15. The unbeliever is ruled by these three, but the believer has been delivered from the power of them, to live by the grace of God above them, although he is constantly at war with them.
Before going further, I want to bring up a text that was given to the church in Corinth. The believers in Corinth had been saved out of a culture contaminated with cultural and spiritual wickedness. Sin had befuddled them and they needed to be taught the truth. Note Paul’s teaching to the believers; “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed , but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” It is a task in itself to counsel those who have been befuddled by sin.
I ran across something very vivid as to the work of sin. One who seeks to live according to the senses without obedience to any moral code will find himself carried away by sin. Speaking of the main protagonist in a fictional story, it was said of him; “That the sin he had done once, with loathing, he would do many times, and with joy. He had often tried it, and would try it again. There were dens where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new.” In all my years dealing with men in bondage to drug addiction this is the best explanation of the real issue I have seen. Drugs have become a violent fury against the souls of the unknowing. By it’s indulgence they have been taken captive by the devil to do his will and call that which is evil good.
You may say; “I do not know why I do what I do!” May I counsel you that you have by your evil choices given sin an opportunity to produce in you all manner of evil desires. In order to deal with sin, you must take it to the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of the sin you have been living in and are befuddled by. Look in the Bible at I John , chapters 1 and 2. Read I John 2:1-2 and read of your advocate (attorney) for encouragement. Forsake the sin once and for all by the act of your will. And, lastly, command the tormenting spirit to leave you in Jesus’ Name, voicing James 4:7. “I submit to God, I resist the devil and command this spirit of sorcery to leave me in Jesus’ Name!” Do it boldly!!!
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