Confess Temptation, Avoid Devastation

James 1:14-15,

Confess temptation early and often and you won’t have to confess to a big fall

If you have a Bible, turn to the book of James.

Imagine being in a war with a special operations team. Your are in enemy territory and have split up to cover more ground.  All of a sudden you hear bullets whistling around you. 

You think, “no big deal, I can take them.”  You shoot back. Take some guys out.  As the minutes go by, you find more bullets coming at you.  “But it's okay, you're a big boy. You got this.” You shoot back.  Now there are so many enemy troops you are out of ammo, overwhelmed and you receive some substantial wounds. 

Finally, you call in your walkie for help. You confess to your platoon, I'm shot. 

What do you think they would say?
Why didn't you say something?   Why did you wait so long?

I thought I could handle it… It was only a few shots…

So many of us are like this foolish soldier.  We are in a war. A real war. More real than anything going on in the Middle East.  We have an enemy that hates our guts and seeking to destroy us at any cost.  We live in a world that calls good, evil, and calls evil, good. We have a flesh that is still not redeem and wars with our Spirit.

We are constantly being assailed by temptation. But often, we usually wait till there is a great fall. We feel the tug of temptation. A thought. An attitude. But we stay silent.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14–15, ESV)

I can handle it. No big deal. And it grows. Its like a baby Snake. Crush it when it's a little baby snake.  Instead, we often feed this snake. A thought turns into an action, an action turns into a habit, a habit turns into a lifestyle, a lifestyle turns into destruction.

Here at Cities, let’s normalize fighting sin. But let’s not normalize falling! 

“Confess temptation to avoid devastation”

Confess temptation so that you don’t have to confess sin! Confess the struggle so you don’t have to confess to the fall! When you confess the little things, you won’t have to confess to the big things.

  • Confess the wayward thought or second glance and you won’t have to confess to an adultery.
  • Confess the anxiety and you won’t have to be crippled with depression.
  • Confess the envious thought and you won’t have to confess to deep bitterness.
  • Confess to loneliness and you won’t have to confess to finding refuge in something toxic.
  • Confess the struggle with patience with your kids and you won’t have to confess to the angry outburst.

If we normalize struggle and fighting, we are going to kill sin at it’s roots before they turn into monsters.  Let’s not be shocked. James says in ch. 3:2, “We all stumble in many ways.”

But I just confessed? I just told them?   We are in a war! Would do you expect? 
But they just shot at me yesterday?
We are in a war! Of course you got shot at!

It’s a daily and often moment by moment fight.

“Confess temptation to avoid devastation”

Come into the light.  Stop living like you are alone.  Talk to your Life Group about strategies on how you can confess early and often. Some of you need to confess to your spouse. Some confessions are complicated, especially if its a long time coming. If that’s the case, talk to your community group leader and let them navigate it with you.

We are about to have our weekly private confession, let it not stop there. But it must overflow into a confessing heart to others.