Walk in the Light: Do Not Sin - Reflections

June 18, 2018 | Didi Bacon

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him, there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:4-10 (NASB)

Brent Curtis in his book The Sacred Romance asked the question, “If I'm not abiding in Jesus, then where is it that I abide?” He said that he began to notice that when he was tired or anxious, there were certain sentences he would say in his head that led him to a familiar place. The journey to this place would often start with him walking around disturbed, feeling as if there was something deep inside that he needed to put into words but couldn't quite capture. He felt the "something" like anxiety, loneliness, and a need for connection with someone. If no connection came, he would start to say things like, "Life stinks. Why is it always so hard? It's never going to change." If no one noticed he was struggling or asked him what was wrong, He found himself shifting to a more cynical level: "Who cares? Life is a joke." Surprisingly, by the time he was at that place he felt better. The anxiety was greatly diminished.

His comforter, his abiding place, was cynicism and rebellion. From this abiding place, he would feel free to use some “soul cocaine” like watching a violent movie with maybe a little sexual titillation thrown in or having more alcohol with a meal than he might normally drink. Just doing things that would allow him to feel better for a little while. Bent had always thought of these things as just bad habits. But in light of his question “If I am not adding in Jesus, then where is it that I abide?” Brent began to see they were much more; they were spiritual abiding places that were his comforters and friends in a very meaningful way.

The final light went on one evening when he read John 15:7 in The Message. Here Eugene Peterson translates Jesus' words on abiding this way: "If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon." Jesus was saying in answer to the question, "I have made my home in you. But you still have other comforters you go to. You must learn to make your home in me.”

Abiding leads to practices. Practices define who we are and where we are going in life. Where do you abide? Will you make Jesus the one you learn to abide in? Will you commit your heart to be home for Him?