“Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked.”
Numbers 25:6-8 NASB
Dealing with the sin infection
Unchecked sin is a cancer that grows and spreads and affects everything and everyone it touches. It causes havoc in the life of a believer as fellowship with God and other believers is made difficult. Life is lived in secret, where shame and guilt grow and choke out spiritual growth.
In the church, unchecked sin creeps into the stone of the foundation and compromises the integrity of the whole spiritual structure. If the sin is practiced openly and unhindered those less mature are given the impression that it is accepted. It is particularly tragic if it is a sin that directly affects the body of believers and their relationship with God.
The passage above is instructive to me. Like any human I am a sinner. By the grace of God I have been saved and I have His Holy Spirit in me to help me make the right choices. I make it a practice of keeping my sin accounts short and also avoiding situations where the conditions are right for sin to occur. As I mature in the Lord it is getting easier to recognize the danger signs.
It is important to me to avoid the sin that could ensnare my life. God has ordained me to pray. He has given me a burden to petition for others out of an empathetic heart. When I leave sin unchecked, it limits my ability to come before the Lord with boldness as I go before the throne.
The leaders of the church are the overseers with the obligation to lead the sheep. Most of the time this is a comfortable task, but at times it can be difficult as church discipline is required.
Fortunately, life under grace is different from what it was for the children of Israel in the wilderness. We can have the comfort of knowing that pastors aren’t going to break into our homes and run us through while we are engaged in sin.
Sin is endangering the church. While I certainly don’t advocate the running through of people engaged in open sin, I do believe that each of us should take a drastic view of sin in our own lives. The plague of sin much be checked in our own homes, our own lives and also in our churches.
The plague is spreading and the lost are paying the price. We are the church, we represent a most holy God and we are called to be a most holy people. The global church is increasingly compromised and the message of the Gospel is being lost.
I seek the Lord to show me where sin is in my life. I don’t want the testimony that Jesus died to give me sullied by my own sin.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NKJV