Tuesday, June 16, 2015
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In my little world, "nuke" is just a word that describes what happens to my leftovers when I put them in the microwave. But when I was doing a week of outreach on an Air Force base, nuke meant something far more lethal, like nuclear missile. This particular base was home to scores of missiles that had been part of the front lines of our nation's defense for years. They were kept in underground silos surrounded by very high tech security systems. And it was my privilege to be taken on a visit to one of the launch control centers. Each one of these control centers was responsible for ten missiles.
At the time I was there the center was manned by two airmen who were on 24-hour shifts that they called alerts. And they showed me the systems that monitor virtually every movement every minute for their ten missile sites. In fact, these security systems were so finely tuned that a plastic bag blowing across the prairie could trigger it. Frankly, I guess I was encouraged to see crews like that on full alert. I mean, what they're responsible for required full alert.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Avoid Getting Spiritually Nuked."
I was recently reading the Bible's account of the first human ever born, Cain. See, Adam and Eve were directly created by God, but Cain was literally the first person totally like us. And what happened in the life of that firstborn human has so much to teach all of us who have been born since Cain.
Like this for example, our word for today from the Word of God, Genesis 4:7. "If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you. You must master it." Well, history shows that Cain didn't listen. He did not obey. He did not go on "full alert" against the sin of his own anger and his own bitterness. He didn't master it, so it proceeded to master him and the firstborn of humankind becomes the first murderer of the human race, killing his own brother. Sad story; tragic story.
It always is when we do not heed God's warning to master the sin that is crouching at the door and waiting to have us. The U.S. defenses were developed in light of a clear sense of our security; recognizing the threat, developing a system and being on full alert twenty-four hours a day against it.
Now, the threat to you and me is a predator called sin. And you probably know all too well which sin or sins are always crouching at your door, always trying to take over,
whether it's anger, lust, worry, selfishness, pride, that habit or that persistent temptation.
The call of God is to go on full alert against that sin; stopping its intrusion while it is small before it becomes a full-scale sin invasion of your heart, your mind and your life. Notice what God didn't say to our great, great, great, great, however many times Great Grandfather Cain. He didn't say, "You must coexist with your sin." Or even, "You must fight your sin, you must tolerate, you must excuse your sin." No, "You must master your sin." Get control of what is trying to get control of you.
And here's the question: Have you been too passive in your struggle against the sin that's always around your door or have you given up? God's calling us to master it. How? By daily surrendering that area to Jesus; by setting your alarms to go off at the first invasion of that sin. Stop it then and by eliminating whatever influence strengthens the pull of that sin. Live on the promise of Romans 6:14, "Sin shall not be your master." Put the name of your sin in there and claim it as your future.
I saw in a missile command center what to do when you're facing a formidable enemy. Go on full alert against it. Go on full alert against the sin that's warring against you. It's time to beat what's been beating you too long and that's going to be by living on full alert against it.