I spent the day helping decorate my church for Christmas. (I almost wrote "the holidays" but just couldn't do it. There is something sacred about the term CHRISTmas). One of my many "grunt" jobs was to untangle two 8 to 10 foot long garlands and "de-light" them. No I wasn't trying to make inanimate objects happy. I was trying to undo miniature lights which were intertwined in the garland. I sat there for nearly 45 minutes separating the lights from the garland which so tightly held them. As I worked I pondered the verse in Hebrews 12: 1: "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."
Those lights reminded me of the sin that so EASILY entangles us. Given the past few months of my life I could affirm the truth of how easy it is for sin to entangle us. Oh how we must guard our hearts. Proverbs 4: 23 commands us to: "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
How easily our hearts turn to broken cisterns and idols of its own making. We forsake the Lord and worship the creature instead of the Creator. Sometimes that worship takes the form of worshipping ourselves. We want our own puny, pitiful glory forsaking Him whose glory is eternal, magnificent and certainly worthy of every human being's worship and praise.
When I finally finished untangling all those lights, I realized what a wonderful object lesson the Lord had just taught me. I had a "visual" as some people say. I better grasped just how deadly it is to our walk with the Lord. I was also reminded of a passage I committed to memory this week. James 1: 13 to 16: 13 "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren." This week my pastor shared with me a list of what kinds of "death" occurs as a result of sin. Some of the consequences I've experienced lately. It's been very difficult but gratefully with death comes the potential of resurrection. It is simply best to guard your heart with all diligence and avoid the sin that so easily entangles. As for me it may be awhile before I attempt untangling another light-filled garland. It's hard and laborious work.