Tuesday, April 12, 2016
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When we lived in New Jersey, twelve straight days of rain was pretty unusual. But I remember this time when we got to take our turn at almost two weeks without sunshine. For most of us, it was just a soggy nuisance. But for some people across town, it meant trading in their car for a rowboat. I turned on the news one night as they were talking about a roof that had caved in on a store in our town. It was the pharmacy I went to all the time. Apparently, water had collected until it just broke through the ceiling, and it literally washed one customer out the door like a raging river! I was in the pharmacy prior to the roof caving in and I noticed that they had put out a couple of buckets on the floor, catching drips from some leaks in the ceiling. First, some little leaks – then suddenly the roof caved in!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Before the Roof Caves In."
I'm no structural engineer, but I suspect that what happened when the roof came down wasn't really a sudden fluke. Those little leaks were hints that there was trouble up there and the roof must have been gradually weakened. And then one day there was a downpour that no one could stop.
That kind of small leak that can lead to a big collapse doesn't just happen to buildings; it happens to people. It could be in the process of happening to you, as you allow some seemingly small sin-leaks just to continue wearing you down. They don't seem to be causing much trouble right now. But then Satan seldom destroys people by explosion. He does it by erosion. And you may be much closer to the roof caving in on you than you could possibly imagine, with innocent victims being caught in that wreckage.
God very bluntly spells out the inevitable progression of sin in our lives, from the little drips to the deadly collapse. James 1:14-15 is our word for today from the Word of God. "Each one is tempted when, by his own (evil) desire, he is dragged away and enticed. After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
It starts as a temptation that you allow yourself to entertain; a sinful desire, a slow sin-leak into your heart, flirting with telling something other than the truth, or with a relationship that is morally out of bounds, or with trying something that has no place in a walking temple of the Holy Spirit. It might just be lingering to watch what holy eyes should never be polluted with, or listening to something that quietly feeds the dark side of you, or messing with the dark side of the supernatural.
And Satan, who wants to destroy you, has convinced you that just this much won't hurt. You can handle this. You need this. Wanting it; thinking about it. That's just a little leak, right? But desire doesn't stay desire for long. If you let it in, it very quickly turns to sinful actions you never would have imagined. And the little drops of desire become the steady leak of sin which becomes increasingly hard to stop doing.
"And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death." Gradually weakened by a series of little compromises, you're headed for a cave-in that will bury you and maybe people you love. It is inevitable unless you fix that widening hole that sin is using to come into your life. It's time to do what God tells us to do. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). You've been cooperating with the devil and he's slowly wearing you down spiritually with his subtle plan to take you where you never dreamed you'd go, to make you pay a price you never could have imagined.
It's time to get on your knees and ask Jesus to be your Savior from this sin, to give you the desire and the strength to turn and fight the sin that you've been flirting with. Like that rain-weakened roof on a store near us, the total collapse could be much closer than you know. But you can still stop it before it all comes down, if you'll invite the Carpenter of Nazareth to repair the damage that sin has done.