The No Regrets Alarm
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I opened the refrigerator and there it was again - the pig! Yes, years ago someone bought it, put it in the refrigerator for a while and then it disappeared. I thought maybe he'd gone to the bacon factory, but then the pig was back. See, this pig was actually plastic, and whenever you would open the door, the plastic pig started oinking at you. It's annoying, but it does make you think about what you're about to do to yourself.
Our word for today from the Word of God: very familiar verses from Matthew 6, beginning at verse 9 - "This then is how you should pray." And this is what we commonly call The Lord's Prayer of course. Remember this phrase? Of course you do. "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one." How many times have you prayed that? "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Or as some translations say, "the evil one." That's an important prayer. We almost don't think about those words. "Lead me not into temptation; deliver me from evil."
In other words, "Lord, help me see where the temptation is. Help me steer away from it. Keep me from anything that the Devil might be trying to get me to do." Well, how do you do that? That's through His Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus said that the Holy Sprit, who He called the Comforter would do that. He said it in John 16:8. He promises "that the Holy Spirit - the Comforter - when He is come, He will convict the world of sin." He also said in John 14:26 He will "bring to your remembrance all the things that I have taught you." In other words, the Holy Spirit's going to bring to mind how Jesus feels about this.
The day you put your trust in Jesus as your Savior, God plants in your soul a sin alarm. Now somebody planted a gluttony alarm in our refrigerator; this noise that makes you stop and think before you reach for something. It was annoying, but the pig could keep you from doing something you would regret later; like how you'll feel when you step on the scale tomorrow.
We do need some noise inside of us when we're about to reach for something we're going to later regret. And God delivers us from evil if we will listen to the inner alarms He triggers when we are about to sin. He says something like, "That's not the truth; don't lie. That's not pure; don't watch it. That's going to hurt; don't say it. That's going too far; don't do it."
See, one alarm in us is what I call Scripture brakes. God brings to your mind a statement from the Word of God that keeps you from making a mistake if you listen. It's the brakes; step on the brakes. D. L. Moody said that "When you think sin you ought to think Scripture." That's why it's important to commit to memory verses that God can later use to warn you away from the edge. Psalm 119: "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I will not sin against You."
Now, another sin alarm is what I call shame warnings. See, many of us don't carry a sense of shame from the sins of the past, and God erased those from His books if you've brought those sins to Jesus. But sometimes the shame feelings are there a long time after God has forgiven us. And that's actually not all bad, because God can remind you of the damage that comes from saying yes to that temptation, using the shame warnings from the past. Listen to those.
One other sin alarm that God uses when you're reaching for something that could hurt you is Spirit tremors. It's an uneasiness in your spirit that says, "This just isn't right." That's probably the stirring of the Holy Spirit. Listen to that inner warning. But respond immediately and put on the Scripture brakes, respond to the shame warnings, to the Spirit tremors before sin drowns them out and you grab a plateful of regrets.
After a while, I have to admit I got immune to that pig warning in the fridge. I finally just put it away. Don't do that with the Holy Spirit alarm system inside you. Do not quench the Spirit, because He knows the price tag for what you are about to grab.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.