I Hope NOT!
Who wants to think of themselves as committed to sin? But like it or not we live our lives committed to sin when we live a life apart from God.
Do you live your life apart from God?
Most of us would answer an easy no to that question. Most of us assume living apart from God is grave sin so we consider our little mistakes not sin at all. But in the book of Micah, we learn right from the introduction that God judges all sin whether we realize it or not – OR whether we like it or not. Often, we think God ignores our sin, has pity on us for the way we are treated by others – so our sin, if we even admit to calling it that – can be excused by God, right?
Micah 3:11 “Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.”
The central theme of the book of Micah is that both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah would fall. This was God’s discipline upon the people.
In this verse, Micah 3:11, the leaders were using God and the people, oppressing them, yet claimed God was with them. They thought what they were doing was okay. They did not think their sin would be punished. They did not think God would judge them. Most of us look at verses like this and we do not consider our modern world in comparison. We say, “I don’t live in Jerusalem, I’m not oppressing people, God isn’t talking to me.”
But think of your life today; how many bad words have you said about someone else today? How many times have you overlooked the person overlooked by everyone else today? How many times have you laughed at someone because everyone else was doing it? How many times have you told a white lie today? How many times have you cheated on something today because no one was looking?
Walk this Way…
Recently I was at the gym. For those who frequent the gym, the walking tracks have designated walking directions. For example, Monday through Wednesday you walk one way, and Thursday through Saturday you walk the other way. One day there was a lady walking in the wrong direction. First, this drives me crazy! I think it would drive all OCD people crazy. But – the day before, a couple asked me if the track had walking directions so I assumed this lady probably did not know about the walking directions either. I politely shared with her the walking directions so she could be informed and know the correct directions to walk in. She replied to me that no one is ever at the gym that early so she walks whichever way.
Umm okay? So, you purposely walk the wrong way if you feel like it because no one else is usually at the gym that early?
You might think I am crazy but that’s actually the first thought that went through my head. I wondered how many other things she does when no one else is looking. I might add that this gym is at our church so her attitude caught me off guard. This is what I thought about her, and guess what, people think things about your behavior too.
At this same gym, we have to check ourselves in before we begin our workout. For some reason with our family the check in process takes about five minutes to pull up our phone number, to check ourselves in. People behind me waiting to check in always ask me if the system is broken because it takes so long. There are times when I arrive, I just want to check in and get started and the five minutes to check in can be annoying. It is especially annoying with my younger daughter is with us. Because of her age, she must be checked in as a guest, so it takes an extra 2 minutes added to the already five minutes. One day I decided to NOT check her in, and I immediately felt convicted.
So – I checked her in, and I check her in whenever she is with me even if it takes seven minutes and even if people are behind me impatient.
Why would I have been convicted by this?
If these little things convict us, why would it convict us if it were no big deal to God?
That’s because it is a big deal to God and the Holy Spirit convicts us! Every little thing we do wrong adds up to more wrongs and the more wrongs we do we start to live apart from God committed to a life of sin.
As the book of Micah begins, the prophet prophesied that the north and southern kingdoms of Jerusalem would be destroyed. The sin of Samaria (which God had judged) was influencing Jerusalem to sin and soon their judgement would come.
Micah 1:9 “For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem.”
When we consider the book of Micah and how sin in Samaria was negatively influencing Jerusalem, do you consider how your sins oppress people?
That’s a strong word!
But think about it, everything you do, good or bad, has an influence on others. The little lies you tell goes a LONG way. You don’t have to think your sin is big, but God does.
Sin makes other people think they can sin too. If someone is looking at your life and think God is okay with your sin, they will think God is okay if they sin in the same way too. What if their sin gets them into big trouble? What if you’ve managed to get away with your sin longer, but they aren’t so lucky? Does that matter to you?
Just Say No
About ten years ago my husband was coaching football at a private Christian high school. On Fridays after the games all the coaches went out to drink beers. My husband was torn about this. He wanted to attend so he could connect and spend time with the coaches but could not shake the idea of being among beer drinking with the coaches representing a Christian high school. I felt the same. I told my husband, Omar, what if one of your players sees the coach’s drinking beer, they might decide to start drinking beer. What if the coaches can handle beer better, but the player who started drinking cannot handle it the same? What if something bad happens to that player from drinking beer?
But – what’s the big deal, right?
I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not drunk or drinking and driving…
I can handle my alcohol fine – until – what I am doing influences someone else who can’t handle it the same. What if that player saw me drinking, gets drunk, and decides to drive drunk?
Driving drunk is obviously a sin…and it started somewhere – with someone.
Everything we do apart from God is a commitment to live against God. It’s a commitment to live in sin. God judged Jerusalem. He did not allow them to get away with their sin. He destroyed them.
God was not happy with those who thought nothing of their sin which oppressed others.
Micah 2:1 “What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans.”
2:3 “But this is what the LORD says, I will reward your evil with evil.”
Physical suffering might not be obvious, so we assume our lives are okay with God. We haven’t been destroyed like Jerusalem, so we assume God is okay with us.
But – are your prayers hindered?
Are you waiting for something to happen in your life and not seeing the answer you desire?
Are you hurting inside and don’t know why?
Have you considered your little sins and how your little sins are influencing your life, spouse, children, family, coworkers and friends?
The Good News
The good news about the book of Micah is that God would restore Jerusalem. They were judged for their sins, and we will be judged for our sins, but God give us time to turn away from our sins. Jerusalem did not turn away before being judged, but still God restored them.
Micah 5:1 “The enemy is laying siege to Jerusalem. They will strike Israel’s leader in the face with a rod.
God does not want to destroy our lives, but He will allow us to suffer greatly when we sin.
He wants to build our character and transform us into His image.
Through the prophesied Messiah, we can be transformed.
Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
This verse speaks of the Messiah.
Where are some areas in your life today you need to repent and turn away from? It won’t be easy but with the Messiah, Jesus Christ, every day you can do it. Pray and ask God to reveal areas inside of you where you need to change. Pray and ask Him to be with you daily to start new habits. He will not turn His back on you. You might have to suffer through the change – but He will see you through it. Allow Him to turn your little sins into BIG victories.
You are not reading this by mistake. Ask God to help you become the person He desires you to be and start influencing people for His Kingdom.
Today, live your life committed to the Kingdom!
~Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not email me today and I will pray with you.
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