WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T PLAY WITH SIN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2 New King James Version).
Don’t play with sin. It has both temporal and eternal consequences. Unfortunately, many people today play with sin, and if they don’t repent, they will not escape the consequences.
In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, they died spiritually, as God had said. Verse 8 says, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (New King James Version). Sin made Adam and Eve hide from the presence of God. By disobeying God, they separated themselves from Him and He ejected them from the Garden.
Don’t play with sin. After Saul had sinned and God rejected him as king, He withdrew His presence from him, and an evil spirit tormented him. “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him” (1 Samuel 16:14 King James Version). God does not have an evil spirit to give anyone! That scripture means that God withdrew His presence and permitted an evil spirit to trouble him.
1 Samuel 18:12 says Saul was afraid of David because the LORD had departed from him and was with David. Saul knew what he lost by the absence of the presence of God having enjoyed His presence before.
Later, in the psalm that David wrote after the Prophet Nathan had confronted him with his sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband, Uriah, David prayed to God thus: “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:11-12 New International Version). He knew what happened to Saul when God withdrew His presence from Him. However, David, unlike Saul, genuinely repented and God forgave Him (2 Samuel 12:13).
Don’t play with sin. Samson did not live a consecrated life as a Nazirite. He played with sin, including going to bed with a harlot (Judges 16:1). After that, Samson loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, Delilah. Eventually, Delilah put him to sleep on her lap. By the time he woke up, the Philistines had shaved off the seven locks of his head. He wanted to do as before, but he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. His strength had left him (Judges 16:20). He had lost the presence of God. In the end, he died prematurely with his enemies after the Philistines had gouged out his eyes, bound him with bronze fetters, and forced him to grind grain in the prison (verses 21 & 30).
Samson played with sin until it consumed him. He should have fled the first time Delilah asked for the secret of his great strength. But probably he was enjoying the passing pleasures of sin with Delilah, which blinded his eyes to the danger she posed to him. He kept deceiving her about the secret of his great strength until he succumbed to her pressure and told her all his heart.
Don’t play with sin. The LORD said concerning Israel, “With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously with the LORD, for they have begotten pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage” (Hosea 5:6-7 New King James Version). God withdrew Himself from them.
God dwells with the believer today through the God the Holy Spirit that lives in us. And the Holy Spirit indwells us permanently. Jesus said in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (New King James Version). The Holy Spirit indwelling believers today is not as in the Old Testament when the Holy Spirit was only with them, came upon them, and filled them for specific assignments.
Ephesians 1:13 says those who believed in Christ were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Also, Ephesians 4:30 says Christians were “sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin)” (Amplified Bible). In other words, the Holy Spirit has stamped us as God’s property until the day of redemption. Nevertheless, as this scripture says, we can grieve the Holy Spirit, make Him sad, or offend Him. It, therefore, warns us against this. Also, 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says we should not quench the Spirit.
The implication is that although God does not withdraw the Holy Spirit from a child of God, unconfessed sins can hinder a believer’s fellowship with God. Sin will not only bring someone shame, pain, guilt, etc. while he is on earth, but it can also hinder his fellowship with God. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6 New King James Version).
Proverbs 28:13 says anyone who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. If you value your fellowship with God, run away from sin. Don’t play with sin.
God loves the sinner but hates sin. God wants to have fellowship with His children but unconfessed sins can hinder it. Fellowship is different from relationship. God has called His children to holiness. He says we should be holy because He is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16). 1 John 3:8a says, “But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil” (New Living Translation). The Apostle John also says in 1 John 5:18a, “We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning” (New Living Translation).
Don’t play with sin. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (New King James Version). This does not mean that God cuts off from His children who sin. No. They remain His children.
Don’t play with sin. 1 Corinthians 10:14 says to flee from idolatry. Flee from sin as Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife who tried to lure him to sleep with her (Genesis 39:12). Abstain from every form of evil as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:22. In Colossians 3:5-10, he also gave examples of the earthly desires at work in us that we must put to death.
Don’t play with sin. Run from it. Don’t pitch your tents near Sodom, as Lot did (Genesis 13:12). Lot’s only consideration, in making his choice, was that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord (Genesis 13:10). But verse 13 says the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. Lot and his family nearly perished like the rest when the city was destroyed. Nevertheless, he lost his wife who looked back and became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).
If your sins have hindered or affected your fellowship with God, confess them to God. He knows everything already. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version). If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Don’t play with sin. As it is rightly said, sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. Don’t play with sin. The truth that Jesus has died for your sins – past, present, and future – is not a licence to continue sinning. According to Paul, we cannot go on sinning so that grace may abound or increase (Romans 6:1).
Sinners who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour are currently separated from God. But, in eternity, they will be separated from Him forever. Sinners will be cast into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). It is a place of outer darkness where there will be wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; 13:41-42, 49-50; 22:13; 24:50-51; 25:30; Luke 13:27-28).
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Also, James 1:15b says that when sin is full-grown, it gives birth to death. Are you born again? Don’t play with sin.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I confess my sins and receive power for victory over sin. I shall not play with sin; I shall not quench or grieve the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name. Sin shall not hinder my fellowship with God in Jesus’ name. I pray that everyone whose unconfessed sins have hindered their fellowship with God will confess and return to God today.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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