Sin is a feature. Sin is what it is, it's what it's called, but sin kind of feels like saying the word infinity. I know what infinity is but do I really understand the concept of infinity, going on for ever and ever and ever? So it doesn't surprise me that when God wants to deal with me about sin He does things like tell me that when I'm drinking Diet Coke I'm drinking demons. When He made that statement in my heart I stopped drinking Diet Coke that very day. I had two more swallows and I only did that because I was worried about the massive headache I might get the next day if I quit cold turkey. But honestly, the thought of drinking demons was repulsive enough that it didn't matter about the headache; I didn't want to do it anymore, at all, ever. Honestly I have not had a drink of Diet Coke since that day, and that was my go to drink for decades.
Another example is when I heard John Bevere in his Holy Spirit series say that walking in on a scene in a movie that he had already watched, where one of the characters is killed, offended the Holy Spirit and he hadn't realized it the first time he watched it because he was not paying as much attention to the Holy Spirit. But the second time he realized what an offense it was because he had developed a very close relationship with the Holy Spirit. Well, that story got me to thinking how many things I have in my life that offend the Holy Spirit. There are things that are just considered a part of life. Like I prefer violence over sex in my movies. I feel a certain detachment from the violence and I appreciate athletic ability. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't offend the Holy Spirit. Since I've heard that statement I have been more careful about the action shows I watch. But now even the TV shows where they're allowed to swear every week just hurt. I must say my entertainment options have been greatly reduced but it's worth it if it means I can have a closer walk with God.
Recently my sister was counseling some young people who were in a situation that seemed unfair to
them. And there's a certain amount of justifiable anger at being put in situations like theirs. Right before we discussed the situation, and I mean two days before, God and I were talking about some situations of hurt in my past.
There was a time where I had a solo in the choir but had to go away on vacation for a week, so someone else stepped in while I was gone. During the first performance when I came back, right
in the middle of my solo, she started singing a counterpoint harmony. Needless to say I was
miffed, and showed it, but I waited to see what the director would do. At our next meeting he comp
limented her on her great singing and I was mad. I knew that if she had done that to him he would
not have been complementing her. But when I asked God how I was supposed to feel about that, God said that if I really cared about His glory more than my own glory, and wasn't the song I was singing supposed to be glorifying Him, then I wouldn't have been offended by her singing with me. I would have asked that God use it to His glory. Ouch!
The other situation was a concert I attended with my boyfriend at the time. We got there early and got great seats. The announcer said that people weren't allowed to just lay their things on their seats and leave so anyone who was there needed to fill in the front seats first. Sure enough an usher came along and insisted that we move forward. Now we were probably one of the few people that actually obeyed the usher but it was what we were supposed to do, even though I really didn't
want to as I really liked the seats we had. And of course when the people came back to their inappropriately saved seats, they were mad that we were in them. Of course by this time the auditorium had filled up quite a bit and we were stuck going back to a very high, not so nice, pair of seats. They weren't horrible but not near as nice as either of the seats we had to start with. I was mad the entire concert . You might even say I was toxic emotionally. Did I have a right to be offended? Yeah, I got the raw end of the deal because I did what I was supposed to do. But when I asked God, He said that it was a test and had I passed the test I would have released the Spirit and allowed him to do a mighty work. Because I held onto my anger, I blocked the Holy Spirit. Again, ouch! God had me crying in repentance.
When my sister heard these stories, she applied them to the situation the young people were in, then she added one additional piece. She told them that if we really want to be used by God, then God will hold us to a higher standard. Kind of like the difference between joining the army and joining the marines. In the army you get trained; in the marines you get intensively trained. There’s a much higher performance standard in the marines than in the army, even though every one is expected to do their best whereever they are. As Christians whatever situation we're in, we need to think about what reflects best on God, and that is how we allow God to use us, and that is how we avoid sin.
So when you go to talk to someone about sin, remember that telling someone that they are sinning isn't the same as telling someone that they are blocking a move of the Holy Spirit. That they are preventing God from doing what God wants to do and preventing God from being glorified. And it doesn't tell them that they are setting themselves up for continued frustration and hurt as they continue to block God in similar situations. So for me, and I suspect many others, if you are going to talk to me about sin, remember that sin is like trying to sell a feature when what I want to know is whether or not it will affect my life. And, let me tell you, it really does!