At the gate?

You can find lessons in the weirdest things or at the most unlikely spots in life. It helps us connect-the-dots spiritually to receive an object lesson. Imagine a gate that opens up for you to pass through that puts you in a cue in a long line where you are committing to stay in the line for as long as it takes because there is no other way out. One way in, one way out - no skirting the line, no turning around. It speaks of the way we enter into sin in our lives - there is some kind of gate which reminds us we are passing through into some place we may not want to be for very long, but when we do, we are there for the long haul!

Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead. (James 1:13-15)
 
All temptation comes with a stopping spot before we enter fully into sin. Just like the gate, there is some form of "barrier" which stands between us and sin. You see the gate, go through it and then your are following a path of your choosing. You have a moment to go the other way, but you have to choose to do so BEFORE you enter the gate. There is that moment of decision OUTSIDE of sin's full action. It is what we do at that moment that makes all the difference in what we experience after that! Once we enter into the "experience" of sin, there is no going back. Sin has a cycle. We enter into a circle of sin that takes us places where we will have to make more decisions, pay an even greater price, and then the emotional turmoil of having to go "through" what we entered into begins. Sometimes we don't have a whole lot of time to decide on which "line" will be the best one for us. Quick decisions often don't "pay off" as we might have hoped. 

There is an element of the unknown in every temptation, because we cannot know how things will "play out" since we are not fully in control when we give into sin's enticement. All of life's temptations are really designed to produce some type of "test result". We might pass some of them, but there is always the chance we will not do as well on others! Sin has a way of taking over our lives. Sin has a way of taking control of what we may not want to just "hand over" to just anybody. I don't know about you, but moving out of the driver's seat makes me feel a little like I am losing control. Temptation lures us in - desires and passions drive us forward - and eventually we find ourselves out of control entirely!

Sin gets inside our heads and messes with our thoughts. We don't always know we are being "tapped into", but trust me, sin has a thought process we cannot dismiss - it gets inside us and we find ourselves "fully committed" at some point. Satan cannot read our minds, but we certainly do "tell" him a lot by the way we respond and the stories we "tell" ourselves! The last thing I want to remind us of is the cost of sin. Sin is never free! Once we commit to the path of sin, there is a cost we will pay to escape the clutches of sin. Although it may not seem significant in the short run, in the long run it all adds up! So, if we want to avoid the trap of sin, it begins before we even get to the gate. Once "inside" the cycle of sin, we ride it out - but we rarely come through without some cost to ourselves. Just sayin!

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