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Sin is that non-entity that always seeks out its prey and then lunges at us at just the “right” time wherein we are brought as low as a person can feel, full of guilt. The word “entity” is a word that means “being,” “existence.” Sin is that non-person, non-physical existing power that is very real in the life of man; its destructive power spiritually kills all those who live within its grasp. This paradox (a seemingly contradictory idea) of a non-living existent power destroying life is not something we can adequately handle. The apostle Paul rightly called out when he said (wrote), “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24, ESV).

Going back to the lead sentence of the previous paragraph, have your ever felt this way? Do you continually struggle feeling this way? If you are normal you do. But being normal in this regard is not that which is best for us.

Compare two men.

As sin rests right before us, preparing to leap up and devour us, Cain was told by the Lord he must subdue it (Gn. 4:7, NET). This means he must resolve to “get a handle on it,” subduing it and overcoming it. Sin, however, is a spiritual problem and not something physical a person can handle. The Lord said to Cain that he can subdue it, but the weapons of choice can’t be one of his own making. But how does man subdue what he can’t physically struggle with and what seems to control him? In the case of Cain and Abel it was not long before Cain gave in to his urging (jealousy, bitterness, anger) and acted against his brother. Thus, Cain did not subdue his urge; instead, sin leaped on him and devoured him (1 Peter 5:8).

It is not known what Paul’s sin in the flesh was (2 Corinthians 12), but whatever it was, it was a powerful reminder of his inability to address it. Paul appealed to the Lord three times to remove the thorn, but the Lord said to Paul that His grace was sufficient for him to overcome. Was it ever the case when Paul felt his struggle with this thorn that the Lord’s response to him was not helpful? Did he ever feel so overwhelmingly compelled to address it, or succumb to it? If the response to this problem was as Paul wrote, then no (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). If Paul ever felt that way, he soon changed his approach.

“But, I am not Paul!” Perhaps we need to be like Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Let us not find reasons for why it is acceptable to fail. Even if you reject the notion that “it is acceptable to fail,” let not your life’s actions and thoughts that come out in words you speak betray your rejection of “it’s not acceptable to fail.” Yes, it is true that we all fail; it is also true that we will fail again, perhaps seriously so. The Lord cares and whether it is a nagging sin or some physical infirmity, the Lord’s strength is the solution to man’s ailment. RT