His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.
We fall into sin because of the wrong thoughts we have about God. We think God is a cosmic killjoy who does not want us to have any fun, so we fall for the lie of Satan that says if you want to experience exhilaration, then disobey the boundaries God has put into effect. But before long, we realize that we cannot sin just a little bit and stop. When we sin once, we sin again and again. The Apostle Peter said it this way: “By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). If you want to know what you are a slave to in life, ask yourself this question: “What is it that no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop doing?” What addiction has overtaken your life? Whatever it is you cannot stop doing, that is your master in life. That is what you are a slave to.
In my last church, I illustrated this point about sin becoming our slave master with a story about my own habits. I said that every Sunday night after preaching all day, I came home and enjoyed a pint of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. One Monday afternoon, I was driving home from church and said, “Most pastors do not even go into work on Mondays, but I do. I need to give myself a little treat.” I pulled into Albertson’s and bought another pint of ice cream. What had been a one-day-a-week habit turned into a two-day-a-week habit. Then one Friday, I was coming home from church and said, “A lot of men are stopping off at the liquor store or going out partying, and I am going home to my family. I need to reward myself for not engaging in that sinful behavior.” So I stopped into Albertson’s and bought another pint of ice cream. What had started as Sunday night behavior now became Sunday night, Monday night, and Friday night. Pretty soon, I found a reason to have Haagen-Dazs ice cream every night of the week. I had become addicted to it. That was the story I used to illustrate how easy it is to become enslaved by sin. When I finished my message, I gave the invitation. A girl came forward, and I recognized her but could not place her. I asked her, “Where do I know you from?” She said, “I’m the clerk at Albertson’s who sells you your ice cream every week.”
Other than an expanding waistline, there is not a lot of harm in Haagen-Dazs ice cream, but there is a sin that is destructive. The Bible says when you engage in sexual immorality, the first time you do it leads to the second time, the second time leads to the third time, and before you know it, you are enslaved. In Proverbs 5:22, Solomon said, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.” I often illustrate that verse using a piece of string. I wrap it around my hand and say, “If you wrap this piece of string around your hand one time, you can easily break through it. But you wrap that cord around your hand three or four times, no matter what you try, you cannot break free from it. It is the same way with sin. Sin is a cord that will hold you captive.” Some of you right now are engaged in pornography, premarital sex, or an adulterous relationship. You say, “I can stop any time I want.” Really? Then why aren’t you stopping now? The fact is, sin never leads to freedom. It always leads to slavery.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Graze In Your Own Pasture” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.