January 31 Sin Is a Choice

Scripture reading: James 1:13–16

Key verse: 1 Corinthians 1:29

That no flesh should glory in His presence.

Of all who have ever lived, Eve was the one who could come the closest to using legitimately the phrase “the devil made me do it.” And God did not accept this excuse even from Eve, who had the serpent speaking directly to her (Gen. 3). We cannot pass the buck for sinning to anyone else. God wants us to understand the true source of sin so that we can come to terms with it honestly before Him.

Patrick Morley describes our blame passing in his book Walking with Christ in the Details of Life:

We give Satan too much credit. Satan is fallen. He cannot foretell the future. He is limited in space and time—he can only be one place at a time. He is not eternal …

It is impossible for Satan to make you sin. Sin is a choice. Satan can tempt us, but we decide to sin. “By his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14). Since the devil is unable to make us sin, we need to reconsider blaming him for our wrong choices …

The bigger enemy is our flesh. To square off against Satan is easy by comparison. The flesh must be battled daily, even momentarily. That’s why the Scriptures say, “For the … Spirit desires what is contrary to the sinful nature.” … The battle against Satan is already won. The ongoing battle is with the flesh.

If you want to ascend the mountain of His holiness and dwell in the presence of God, then you must recognize that sin is a choice. Reject it.

Father, I realize now that sin is a choice. Help me choose the paths of righteousness that will lead to new spiritual heights with You in the mountain of Your holiness.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 32). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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